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(ioltUnn  f  mith. 


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LONDON  :     PftlNTED    BY 








BY     ARTHUR     PENRHYN     STANLEY,     DJ). 





-Tne~-riffkt    of  translation    is    reserved 



HAVING  been  consulted  by  the  family  and  friends  of 
the  late  Lord  Elgin  as  to  the  best  mode  of  giving  to 
the  world  some  record  of  his  life,  and  having  thus  con- 
tracted a  certain  responsibility  in  the  work  now  laid 
before  the  public,  I  have  considered  it  my  duty  to  prefix 
a  few  words  by  way  of  Preface  to  the  following  pages. 
On  Lord  Elgin's  death  it  was  thought  that  a  career 
intimately  connected  with  so  many  critical  points  in  the 
history  of  the  British  Empire,  and  containing  in  itself 
so  much  of  intrinsic  interest,  ought  not  to  be  left  with- 
out an  enduring  memorial.  The  need  of  this  was  the 
more  felt  because  Lord  Elgin  was  prevented,  by  the 
peculiar  circumstances  of  his  public  course,  from  en- 
joying the  familiar  recognition  to  which  he  would  else 
have  been  entitled  amongst  his  contemporaries  in 
England.  Tor'  (if  I  may  use  the  words  which  I  have 
employed  on  a  former  occasion)  '  it  is  one  of  the  sad 
4  consequences  of  a  statesman's  life  spent  like  his  in  the 
4  constant  service  of  his  country "  on  arduous  foreign 
4  missions,  that  in  his  own  land,  in  his  own  circle, 
4  almost  in  his  own  home,  his  place  is  occupied  by 
4  others,  his  very  face  is  forgotten ;  he  can  maintain  no 
c  permanent  ties  with  those  who  rule  the  opinion,  or 
4  obtain  the  mastery,  of  the  day ;  he  haa  identified 


4  himself  with  no  existing  party  ;  he  has  made  himself 
4  felt  in  none  of  those  domestic  and  personal  struggles 
'which  attract  the  attention  and  fix  the  interest  of 
4  the  many  who  contribute  in  large  measure  to  form 
4  the  public  opinion  of  the  time.  For  twenty  years  the 
4  few  intervals  of  Lord  Elgin's  residence  in  these  islands 
4  were  to  be  counted  not  by  years,  but  by  months ;  and 
1  the  majority  of  those  who  might  be  reckoned  amongst 
4  his  friends  and  acquaintances,  remembered  him  chiefly 
4  as  the  eager  and  accomplished  Oxford  student  at  Christ 
4  Church  or  at  Merton/ 

The  materials  for  supplying  this  blank  were,  in  some 
respects,  abundant.  Besides  the  official  despatches  and 
other  communications  which  had  passed  between  him- 
self and  the  Home  Government  during  his  successive 
absences  in  Jamaica,  Canada,  China,  and  India,  he  had 
in  the  two  latter  positions  kept  up  a  constant  corre- 
spondence, almost  of  the  nature  of  a  journal,  with  Lady 
Elgin,  which  combines  with  his  reflections  on  public 
events  the  expression  of  his  more  personal  feelings,  and 
thus  reveals  not  only  his  own  genial  and  affectionate 
nature,  but  also  indicates  something  of  that  singularly 
poetic  and  philosophic  turn  of  mind,  that  union  of  grace 
and  power,  which,  had  his  course  lain  in  the  more  tran- 
quil wralks  of  life,  would  have  achieved  no  mean  place 
amongst  English  thinkers  and  writers. 

These  materials  his  family,  at  my  suggestion,  com- 
mitted to  my  friend  Mr.  Theodore  Walrond,  whose 
sound  judgment,  comprehensive  views,  and  official  ex- 
perience are  known  to  many  besides  myself,  and  who 
seemed  not  less  fitted  to  act  as  interpreter  to  the 
public  at  large  of  such  a  life  and  character,  because, 
not  having  been  personally  acquainted  with  Lord 

PREFACE.  vii 

Elgin,  or  connected  with  any  of  the  public  transactions 
recorded  in  the  following  pages,  he  was  able  to  speak 
with  the  sobriety  of  calm  appreciation,  rather  than 
the  warmth  of  personal  attachment.  In  this  spirit  he 
kindly  undertook,  in  the  intervals  of  constant  public 
occupations,  to  select  from  the  vast  mass  of  materials 
placed  at  his  disposal  such  extracts  as  most  vividly 
brought  out  the  main  features  of  Lord  Elgin's  career, 
adding  such  illustrations  as  could  be  gleaned  from 
private  or  published  documents  or  from  the  remem- 
brance of  friends.  If  the  work  has  unavoidably  been 
delayed  beyond  the  expected  term,  yet  it  is  hoped 
that  the  interest  in  those  great  colonial  dependencies 
for  which  Lord  Elgin  laboured,  has  not  diminished 
with  the  lapse  of  years.  It  is  believed  also  that  there 
is  no  time  when  it  will  not  be  good  for  his  country- 
men to  have  brought  before  them  those  statesmanlike 
gifts  which  accomplished  the  successful  accommodation 
of  a  more  varied  series  of  novel  and  entangled  situations 
than  has,  perhaps,  fallen  to  the  lot  of  any  other  public 
man  within  our  own  memory.  Especially  might  be 
named  that  rare  quality  of  a  strong  overruling  sense  of 
the  justice  due  from  man  to  man,  from  nation  to  nation ; 
that  '  combination  of  speculative  and  practical  ability ' 
(so  wrote  one  who  had  deep  experience  of  his  mind) 
4  which  peculiarly  fitted  him  to  solve  the  problem  how 
'  the  subject  races  of  a  civilised  empire  are  to  be  go- 
4  verned  ; '  that  firm,  courageous,  and  far-sighted  confi- 
dence in  the  triumph  of  those  liberal  and  constitutional 
principles  (in  the  best  sense  of  the  word),  which,  having 
secured  the  greatness  of  England,  were,  in  his  judg- 
ment, also  applicable,  under  other  forms,  to  the  difficult 
circumstances  of  new  countries  and  diverse  times. 

viii  PBEFACE. 

4  It  is  a  singular  coincidence,'  said  Lord  Elgin,  in  a 
speech  at  Benares  a  few  months  before  his  end,  4  that 
4  three  successive  Governors- General  of  India  should  have 
4  stood  towards  each  other  in  the  relationship  of  contem- 
4  porary  friends.  Lord  Dalhousie,  when  named  to  the 
4  government  of  India,  was  the  youngest  man  who  had 
'  ever  been  appointed  to  a  situation  of  such  high  respon- 
4  sibility  and  trust.  Lord  Canning  was  in  the  prime  of 
4  life ;  and  I,  if  I  am  not  already  on  the  decline,  am  nearer 
'  to  the  verge  of  it  than  either  of  my  contemporaries  who 
4  have  preceded  me.  When  I  was  leaving  England  for 
1  India,  Lord  Ellenborough,  who  is  now,  alas !  the  only 
c  surviving  ex-Governor-General,  said  to  me,  4  u  You 
4  a  are  not  a  very  old  man;  but,  depend  upon  it,  you 
4  "  will  find  yourself  by  far  the  oldest  man  in  India."  : 
To  that  mournful  catalogue  was  added  his  own  name 
within  the  brief  space  of  one  year ;  and  now  a  fourth, 
not  indeed  bound  to  the  others  by  ties  of  personal  or 
political  friendship,  but  like  in  energetic  discharge  of 
his  duties  and  in  the  prime  of  usefulness  in  which  he 
was  cut  off,  has  fallen  by  a  fate  yet  more  untimely. 

These  tragical  incidents  invest  the  high  office  to 
which  such  precious  lives  have  been  sacrificed  with  a 
new  and  solemn  interest.  There  is  something  espe- 
cially pathetic  when  the  gallant  vessel,  as  it  were,  goes 
down  within  very  sight  of  the  harbour,  with  all  its 
accumulated  treasures.  But  no  losses  more  appeal  at 
the  moment  to  the  heart  of  the  country,  no  careers 
deserve  to  be  more  carefully  enshrined  in  its  grateful 


Deanery,  Westminster : 
March  4,  1872. 





Birth  and  Parentage— School  and  College— Taste  for  Philosophy—    • 
Training  for  Public  Life — M.P.  for   Southampton — Speech  on  the 
Address — Appointed  Governor  of  Jamaica 1 


Shipwreck— Death  of  Lady  Elgin — Position  of  a  Governor  in  a  West 
Indian  Colony  euch  as  Jamaica — State  of  Public  Opinion  in  the 
Island— Questions  of  Finance,  Education,  Agriculture,  the  Labour- 
ing Classes,  Religion,  the  Church — Harmonising  Influences  of  British 
Connexion — Resignation — Appointment  to  Canada  .  ,  ,  .12 


State  of  the  Colony — First  Impressions — Provincial  Politics — '  Respon- 
sible Government ' — Irish  Immigrants — Upper  Canada — Change  of 
Ministry — French  Habitans — The  French  Question — The  Irish — 
The  British — Discontents  j  their  Causes  and  Remedies — Navigation 
Laws— Retrospect — Speech  on  Education  .  .  .  ,  -  ,  31 


Discontent— Rebellion  Losses  Bill— Opposition  to  it-^Nejitrality  of  the 
Governor — Riots  at  Montreal — Firmness  of  the  Governor — Approval 
of  Home  Government — Fresh  Riots — Removal  of  Seat  of  Govern- 
ment from  Montreal — Forbearance  of  Lord  Elgin — Retrospect  .  .  70 





Annexation  Movement — Remedial  Measures— Repeal  of  the  Naviga- 
tion Laws— Reciprocity  with  the  United  States— History  of  the  Two 
Measures — Duty  of  Supporting  Authority — Views  on  Colonial 
Government— Colonial  Interests  the  Sport  of  Home  Parties— No 
Separation  !— Self-Government  not  necessarily  Republican— Value  of 
the  Monarchical  Principle — Defences  of  the  Colony  .  .  .  .99 


The  '  Clergy  Reserves ' — History  of  the  Question — Mixed  Motives  of 
the  Movement — Feeling  in  the  Province — In  Upper  Canada — In 
Lower  Canada — Among  Roman  Catholics — In  the  Church — Secu- 
larisation— Questions  of  Emigration,  Labour,  Land-tenure,  Education, 
Native  Tribes— Relations  with  the  United  States — Mutual  Courtesies 
— Farewell  to  Canada— At  Home  .  .  134 



Origin  of  the  Mission — Appointment  of  Lord  Elgin — Malta — Egypt — 
Ceylon — News  of  the  Indian  Mutiny — Penang — Singapore — Diver- 
sion of  Troops  to  India — On  Board  the  '  Shannon  ' — Hong-Kong 
— Change  of  Plans — Calcutta  and  Lord  Canning — Return  to  China 
— Perplexities — Capriees  of  Climate — Arrival  of  Baron  Gros — Prepa- 
ration for  Action  . 176 



Improved  Prospects — Advance  on  Canton — Bombardment  and  Capture 
— Joint  Tribunal — Maintenance  of  Order — Canton  Prisons — Move 
Northward—  Swatow—  Mr.  Burns — Foochow  —  Ningpo  —  Chusan 
— Potou — Shanghae — Missionaries 210 



Advance  to  the  Peiho— Taking  of  the  Forts— The  Peiho  River— Tient- 
sin—Negotiations— The  Treaty— The  Right  of  Sending  a  Minister 
to  Pekin— Return  southward— Sails  for  Japan  ....  246 




Embark  for  Japan — Coast  Views — Simoda — Off  Yeddo — Yeddo — Con- 
ferences— A  Country  Ride — Peace  and  Plenty — Feudal  System — A 
Temple— A  Juggler— Signing  the  Treaty — Its  Terms— Retrospect  .  2GO 



Delays— Subterfuges  defeated  by  Firmness — Revised  Tariff — Opium 
Trade — Up  the  Yangtze  Kiang — Silver  Island — Nankin — Rebel  War- 
fare— The  Hen-Barrier — Unknown  Waters — Difficult  Navigation — 
Hankow — The  Governor-General — Return — Taking  to  the  Gun- 
boats— Nganching — Nankin — Retrospect — More  Delays — Troubles 
at  Canton — Return  to  Hong-Kong — Mission  completed — Home- 
ward Voyage 275 


Lord  Elgin  in  England — Origin  of  Second  Mission  to  China — Gloomy 
Prospects — Egypt — The  Pyramids — The  Sphinx — Passengers  Home- 
ward bound — Ceylon —  Shipwreck — Penang — Singapore — Shanghae 
— Meeting  with  Mr.  Bruce — Talien-Whan — Sir  Hope  Grant — Plans 
for  Landing 314 


The  Landing — Chinese  Overtures — Taking  of  the  Forts — The  Peiho 
—  Tientsin  —  Negotiations  broken  off — New  Plenipotentiaries  — 
Agreement  made — Agreement  broken — Treacherous  Seizure  of  Mr. 
Parkes  and  others — Advance  on  Pekin — Return  of  some  of  the  Cap- 
tives— Fate  of  the  rest — Burning  of  the  Summer  Palace — Convention 
signed — Funeral  of  the  murdered  Captives — Imperial  Palace — Prince 
Kung — Arrival  of  Mr.  Bruce — Results  of  the  Mission  .  .  .  340 



Leaving  the  Gulf — Detention  at  Shanghae — Kowloon — Adieu  to  China 
— Island  of  Luzon — Churches — Government — Manufactures — Gene- 
ral Condition — Island  of  Java — Buitenzorg — Bantong — Volcano — 
Soirees  —  Retrospect  —  Ceylon  —  The  Mediterranean  —  England — 
Warm  Reception — Dunfermline — Royal  Academy  Dinner — Mansion 
House  Dinner ....  374 





Appointed  Viceroy  of  India — Forebodings — Voyage  to  India — Installa- 
tion— Deaths  of  Mr.  Ritchie,  Lord  Canning,  General  Bruce — The  Hot 
Season — Business  resumed — State  of  the  Empire — Letters  :  the 
Army ;  Cultivation  of  Cotton ;  Orientals  not  all  Children  ;  Mission- 
aries; Rumours  of  Disaffection ;  Alarms;  Murder  of  a  Native; 
Afghanistan  ;  Policy  of  Lord  Canning ;  Consideration  for  Natives  .  895 



Duty  of  a  Governor-General  to  visit  the  Provinces — Progress  to  the 
North- West — Benares — Speech  on  the  Opening  of  the  Railway — 
Cawnpore — Grand  Durbar  at  Agra — Delhi — Hurdwar — Address  to 
the  Sikh  Chiefs  at  Umballa —  Kussowlie — Simla — Letters:  Supply 
of  Labour  ;  Special  Legislation ;  Missionary  Gathering ;  Finance  ; 
Seat  of  Government ;  Value  of  Training  at  Head-quarters ;  Aris- 
tocracies; against  Intermeddling — The  Sitana  Fanatics — Himalayas 
— Rotung  Pass — Twig  Bridge — Illness — Death — Characteristics — 
Burial-place 426 




&c.  &c. 






JAMES,  eighth  Earl  of  Elgin  and  twelfth  Earl  of  Kin-  Birth  and 
cardine,  was  born  in  London  on  July  20,  1811.  His  Parentase- 
father,  whose  career  as  Ambassador  at  Constantinople 
is  so  well  known  in  connection  with  the  '  Elgin  Marbles/ 
was  the  chief  and  representative  of  the  ancient  Norman 
house,  whose  hero  was  c  Robert  the  Bruce.'  From  him, 
it  may  be  said  that  he  inherited  the  genial  and  playful 
spirit  which  gave  such  a  charm  to  his  social  and 
parental  relations,  and  which  helped  him  to  elicit  from 
others  the  knowledge  of  which  he  made  so  much  use  in 
the  many  diverse  situations  of  his  after-life.  His 
mother,  Lord  Elgin's  second  wife,  was  a  daughter  of 
Mr.  Oswald,  of  Dunnikier,  in  Fifeshire.  Her  deep 
piety,  united  with  wide  reach  of  mind  and  varied  cul- 
ture, made  her  admirably  qualified  to  be  the  depositary 
of  the  ardent  thoughts  and  aspirations  of  his  boyhood ; 
and,  as  he  grew  up,  he  found  a  second  mother  in  his 
elder  sister,  Matilda,  who  became  the  wife  of  Sir  John 
Maxwell,  of  Pollok.  To  the  influence  of  such  a  mother 

2  EARLY  YEARS,  CH.  I. 

and  such  a  sister  he  probably  owed  the  pliancy  and 
power  of  sympathy  with  others  for  which  he  was  re- 
markable, and  which  is  not  often  found  in  characters  of 
so  tough  a  fibre.  To  them,  from  his  earliest  years,  he 
confided  the  outpourings  of  his  deeper  religious  feelings. 
One  expression  of  such  feeling,  dated  June  1821,  may 
be  worth  recording  as  an  example  of  that  strong  sense 
of  duty  and  affection  towards  his  brothers,  which, 
beginning  at  that  early  age,  marked  his  whole  subse- 
quent career.  '  Be  with  me  this  week,  in  my  studies, 
4  my  amusements,  in  everything.  When  at  my  lessons, 
4  may  I  think  only  of  them  ;  playing  when  I  play :  when 
4  dressing,  may  I  be  quick,  and  never  put  off  time,  and 
4  never  amuse  myself  but  in  playhours.  Oh !  may  I  set 
4  a  good  example  to  my  brothers.  Let  me  not  teach 
4  them  anything  that  is  bad,  and  may  they  not  learn 
4  wickedness  from  seeing  me.  May  I  command  my 
4  temper  and  passions,  and  give  me  a  better  heart  for 
4  their  good.' 

School  and  -^e  learne^  tne  rudiments  of  Latin  and  Greek  under 
college.  the  careful  teaching  of  a  resident  tutor,  Mr.  Fergus 
Jardine.  At  the  age  of  fourteen  he  went  to  Eton,  and 
thence,  in  due  time,  to  Christ  Church,  Oxford,  where 
he  found  himself  among  a  group  of  young  men  des- 
tined to  distinction  in  after-life — Lord  Canning,  James 
Eamsay  (afterwards  Lord  Dalhousie),  the  late  Duke 
of  Newcastle,  Sidney  Herbert,  and  Mr.  Gladstone. 

There  is  little  to  record  respecting  this  period  of  hib 
life ;  but  a  touching  interest  attaches  to  the  following 
extracts  from  a  letter  written  by  his  brother,  Sir 
Frederick  Bruce,  in  November,  1865. 

4  My  recollections  of  Elgin's  early  life  are,  owing  to 
4  circumstances,  almost  nothing.  In  the  year  1820  he 
4  went  abroad  with  my  father  and  mother,  and  was  away 
'for  two  years.  From  that  time  I  recollect  nothing 
4  until  he  went  to  Eton ;  and  his  holidays  were  then 
4  divided  between  Torquay,  where  my  eldest  brother 



4  was,  and  Broomhall ; 1  and  of  them  my  memory  has  re- 
4  tained  nothing  but  the  assistance  in  his  later  holidays 
4  he  used  to  give  me  in  classical  studies. 

4  We  were  together  for  about  a  year  and  a  half  at 
1  Oxford.  But  he  was  so  far  advanced  in  his  studies, 
4  that  we  had  very  little  in  common  to  bring  us  together ; 
4  and  I  hardly  remember  any  striking  fact  connected  with 
1  him,  except  one  or  two  speeches  at  the  Union  Club, 
f  when  in  eloquence  and  originality)he  far  outshone  his 
4  competitors.2 

'  I  do  not  know  whether  Mr.  Welland  is  still  alive : 
4  he  probably,  better  than  anyone,  could  give  some  sketch 
4  of  his  intellectual  growth,  and  of  that  beautiful  trait 
4  in  his  character,  the  devotion  and  abnegation  he  showed 
4  to  poor  Bruce3  in  his  long  and  painful  illness. 

4  He  was  always  reserved  about  his  own  feelings  and 
'  aspirations.  Owing  to  the  shortness  of  his  stay  at  Ox- 
4  ford,  he  had  to  work  very  hard;  and  his  friends,  like 
4  Newcastle  and  Hamilton,  were  men  who  sought  him  for 
4  the  soundness  of  his  judgment,  which  led  them  to  seek 
*  his  advice  in  all  matters.  He  always  stood  to  them  in 
4  the  relation  of  a  much  older  man.  He  had  none  of  the 
4  frailties  of  youth,  and,  though  very  capable  of  enjoying 
4  its  diversions,  life  with  him  from  a  very  early  date  was 
4  "  sicklied  o'er  with  the  pale  cast  of  thought."  Its 
4  practical  aspect  to  him  was  one  of  anxiety  and  difficulty, 
4  while  his  intellect  was  attracted  to  high  and  abstract 
4  speculation,  and  took  little  interest  in  the  every -day 
'  routine  which  is  sufficient  occupation  for  ordinary 
4  minds.  Like  all  men  of  original  mind,  he  lived  a  life 
;  apart  from  his  fellows. 

4  He  looked  upon  the  family  estate  rather  as  a  trust 

1  The  family  seat  in  Fifeshire. 

2  The   most  distinguished   of  all 
those  competitors  has  borne  his  tes- 
timony  to    the    truth    of   this    ex- 
pression.    'I  well   remember/    Mr. 
Gladstone   wrote    after    his    death, 

'  placing  him  as  to  the  natural  gift 
*  of  eloquence  at  the  head  of  all  those 
'I  knew  either  at  Eton  or  at  the 
'  L^niversity.' 

3  His  elder  brother. 

B  2 

4  EARLY  YEARS.  CH.  I. 

4  than  as  an  inheritance — as  far  more  valuable  than  money 
1  on  account  of  the  family  traditions,  and  the  position 
4  which  in  our  state  of  society  is  given  to  a  family  con- 
4  nected  historically  with  the  country.  Elgin  felt  this 
'  deeply,  and  he  clung  to  it  in  spite  of  difficulties  which 
'  would  have  deterred  a  man  of  more  purely  selfish 

4  It  is  melancholy  to  reflect,'  adds  Sir  F.  Bruce,  c  how 
4  those  have  disappeared  who  could  have  filled  up  this 
4  gap  in  his  history.'  It  is  a  reflection  even  more  melan- 
choly, that  the  loved  and  trusted  brother,  who  shared  so 
many  of  his  labours  and  his  aspirations,  no  longer  lives 
to  write  that  history,  and  to  illustrate  in  his  own  person 
the  spirit  by  which  it  was  animated. 

The  sense  of  the  difficulties  above  referred  to  strongly 
impressed  his  mind  even  before  he  went  to  Oxford,  and 
laid  the  foundation  of  that  habit  of  self-denial  in  all 
personal  matters,  which  enabled  him  through  life  to  re- 
tain a  feeling  of  independence,  and  at  the  same  time  to 
give  effect  to  the  promptings  of  a  generous  nature. 
4  You  tell  me,'  he  writes  to  his  father  from  college,  4 1 
4  coin  money.  I  uncoined  your  last  order  by  putting  it 
4  into  the  fire,  having  already  supplied  myself. ' 

About  the  middle  of  his  Oxford  career,  a  studentship 
fell  vacant,  which,  according  to  the  strange  system  then 
prevalent,  was  in  the  gift  of  Dr.  Bull,  one  of  the  Canons 
of  Christ  Church.  Instead  of  bestowing  it,  as  was  too 
commonly  done,  on  grounds  of  private  interest,  Dr. 
Bull  placed  the  valuable  prize  at  the  disposal  of  the 
Dean  and  Censors,  to  be  conferred  on  the  most  worthy 
of  the  undergraduates.  Their  choice  fell  on  James 
Bruce.  In  announcing  this  to  a  member  of  the  Bruce 
family,  Dr.  Bull  wrote :  4  Dr.  Smith,  no  less  than  the 
'present  college  officers,  assures  me  that  there  is  no 
4  young  man,  of  whatever  rank,  who  could  be  more 
4  acceptable  to  the  society,  and  none  whose  appointment 
*  as  the  reward  of  excellent  deportment,  diligence,  and 

1832.  OXFORD   STUDIES.  5 

1  right-mindedness,   would  do  more    good    among  the 

4  young  men. 

A  letter  written  about  this  time  to  his  father  shows 
that  the  young  student,  with  a  sagacity  beyond  his 
years,  discerned  the  germs  of  an  evil  which  has  since 
grown  to  a  great  height,  and  now  lies  at  the  root  of  some 
of  the  most  troublesome  questions  connected  with  Uni- 
versity Education. 

In  my  own  mind  I  confess  I  am  much  of  opinion,  that  college 
is  put  off  in  general  till  too  late;1  and  the  gaining  of  honours, 
therefore,  becomes  too  severe  to  be  useful  to  men  who  are  to 
enter  into  professions.  It  was  certainly  originally  intended 
that  the  degrees  which  require  only  a  knowledge  of  the  clas- 
sics should  be  taken  at  an  earlier  age,  in  order  to  admit  of  a 
residence  after  they  were  taken,  during  which  the  student 
might  devote  himself  to  science  or  composition,  and  those 
habits  of  reflection  by  which  the  mind  might  be  formed,  and 
a  practical  advantage  drawn  from  the  stores  of  knowledge 
already  acquired.  By  putting  them  off  to  so  late  an  age,  the 
consequence  has  been,  that  it  has  been  necessary  proportionably 
to  increase  the  difficulty  of  their  attainment,  and  to  mix  up  in 
college  examinations  (which  were  supposed  to  depend  upon 
study  alone)  essays  in  many  cases  of  a  nature  that  demands 
the  most  prolonged  and  deep  reflection.  The  effect  of  this  is 
evident.  Those  who,  from  circumstances,  have  neither  oppor- 
tunity nor  leisure  thus  to  reflect,  must,  in  order  to  secure  their 
success,  acquire  that  kind  of  superficial  information  which  may 
enable  them  to  draw  sufficiently  plausible  conclusions,  upon 
very  slight  grounds  ;  and  [of]  many  who  have  this  form  of 
knowledge,  most  will  eventually  be  proved  (if  this  system  is 
carried  to  an  excess)  to  have  but  little  of  the  substance  of  it. 

He  had  meant  to  read  for  double  honours,  but  illness, 

1  'We   are   disposed,  in   fact,  to  l  entertained,  that  students  now  stay 

regard  the  question  of  University  '  too  long  at  the  Public  Schools  and 

extension,  in  this  sense,  as  depending  'Universities,  and  that  young  men 

entirely  on  the  possibility  of  reducing  '  ought  not  to  be  engaged  in  the  mere 

'  the  time  required  for  a  University  {  preparatory  studies  of  their  life  up  to 

'  degree,  and  we  should  like  to  see  '  the  age  of  twenty-three  or  twenty- 

'  more  attention  paid  to  this  point.  .  .  'four.' — Times,  May  22,  1869. 
' . .  The  opinion  is  strongly  and  widely 

6  EARLY   YEARS.  CH.  I. 

brought  on  by  over-work,  obliged  him  to  confine  himself 
to  classics.  All  who  know  Oxfor4  are  aware,  that  the 
term  '  Classics,'  as  there  used,  embraces  not  only  Greek 
and  Latin  scholarship,  but  also  Ancient  History  and 
Philosophy.  In  these  latter  studies  the  natural  taste  and 
previous  education  of  James  Bruce  led  him  to  take  a 
special  interest,  and  he  threw  himself  into  the  work  in 
no  niggard  spirit.1  At  the  Michaelmas  Examination  of 
1832,  he  was  placed  in  the  first  class  in  classics,  and 
common  report  spoke  of  him  as  4  the  best  first  of  his 
4  year.'  Not  long  afterwards  he  was  elected  Fellow  of 
Merton.  He  appears  to  have  been  a  candidate  also  for 
the  Eldon  Scholarship,  but  without  success.  In  a  con- 
test for  a  legal  prize  it  was  no  discredit  to  be  defeated 
by  Roundell  Palmer. 

Taste  for  Some  of  his  contemporaries  have  a  lively  remem- 
phy.°S°  brance  of  the  eagerness  with  which,  while  still  a  student, 
he  travelled  into  fields  at  that  period  beyond  the  some- 
what narrow  range  of  academic  study.  Professor  Mau- 
rice at  one  time,  Dr.  Pusey  at  another,  were  his  de- 
lighted companions  in  exploring  the  dialogues  of  Plato. 
Mr.  Gladstone  '  remembers  his  speaking  of  Milton's 
c  prose  works  with  great  fervour  when  they  were  at  Eton 
'  together  ; '  and  adds  the  confession — interesting  alike  as 

O  /  O 

regards  both  the  young  students — 4 1  think  it  was  from 
'  his  mouth  I  first  learned  that  Milton  had  written  any 
'  prose.'  This  affection  for  those  soul-stirring  treatises 
of  the  great  advocate  of  free  speech  and  inquiry  he 
always  retained  :  they  formed  his  constant  companions 

1  There  remains   a  memorandum  ( connection  with  the  Bible  History,' 

in  his  handwriting  of  a  systematic  with   the  view  of  seeing   'how  all 

course  of  study  to  be  pursued  for  his  '  hang  upon  each  other,  and  develope 

degree,  in  which  two  points  are  re-  '  the  leading  schemes  of  Providence.' 

markable — 1st,  the  broad  and  liberal  The  various  branches  of  mental  and 

spirit  in  which  it  is  conceived ;  2ndly,  moral   science  he  proposes,   in   like 

that  the    whole   is    based    on    the  manner,   'to   hinge  upon   the  New 

Bible.      Ancient   History,    together  '  Testament,  as  constituting,  in  an- 

with   Aristotle's    Politics    and    the  <  other  line,  the  history  of  moral  and 

ancient  orators,  are  to  be  read  f  in  '  intellectual  development.' 


wherever  he  travelled;  and  there  are  many  occasions  in 
which  their  influence  may  be  traced  on  his  thought  and 
language.  4 1  would  rather  swallow  a  bushel  of  chaff 
c  than  lose  the  precious  grains  of  truth  which  may  some- 
'' where  or  other  be  scattered  in  it,'  was  a  sentiment 
which,  though  expressed  in  much  later  life,  was  charac- 
teristic of  his  whole  career.  In  this  spirit  he  listened 
with  deep  interest  to  the  roll  of  theological  controversy 
then  raging  at  Oxford,  though  he  was  never  carried 
away  by  its  violence. 

In  after  life  he  had  little  leisure  to  pursue  the  philo- 
sophic studies  commenced  at  Oxford ;  but  they  took 
deep  and  permanent  hold  on  his  mind,  and  formed  in 
fact  the  groundwork  of  his  great  practical  ability.  This 
is  well  stated  by  Sir  Frederick  Bruce : — 

In  Elgin  (to  use  the  distinctions  of  Coleridge,  whose  phi- 
losophy he  had  thoroughly  mastered)  the  Reason  and  Under- 
standing were  both  largely  developed,  and  both  admirably 
balanced.  And  in  this  combination  lay  the  secret  of  his  suc- 
cess in  so  many  spheres  of  action,  so  different  in  their  charac-  f 
teristics,  so  alike  in  their  difficulties.  The  process  he  went  / 
through  was  always  the  same.  He  set  himself  to  work  to  form 
in  his  own  mind  a  clear  idea  of  each  of  the  constituent  parts  of  // 
tlie  problem  with  which  he  had  to  deal.  This  he  effected  partly  I 
by  reading,  but  still  more  by  conversation  with  special  men, 
and  by  that  extraordinary  logical  power  of  mind  and  penetration 
which  not  only  enabled  him  to  get  out  of  every  man  all  he  had 
in  him,  but  which  revealed  to  those  men  themselves  a  know- 
ledge of  their  own  imperfect  and  crude  conceptions,  and  made 
them  constantly  unwilling  witnesses  or  reluctant  adherents  to 
views  which  originally  they  were  prepared  to  oppose.  To 
test  the  accuracy  of  their  statements  and  observations,  and  to 
discriminate  between  what  was  fact  and  what  was  prejudice  or 
misconception,  he  made  use  of  the  higher  faculty  of  cultivated 
Reason,  which  enabled  him,  by  his  deep  insight  into  the  uni- 
versal principles  of  human  nature,  of  forms  of  government, 
&c.,  to  bring  to  the  consideration  of  particular  facts  the  light 
of  an  a  priori  knowledge  of  what  was  to  be  expected  under 
particular  circumstances.  The  result  was,  that  in  an  incredibly 

8  EARLY   YEARS.  CH.  I. 

short  time,  and  with  little  apparent  study  or  effort,  he  attained 
an  accurate  and  clear  conception  of  the  essential  facts  before 
him,  and  was  thus  enabled  to  strike  out  a  course  which  he  could 
consistently  pursue  amidst  all  difficulties,  because  it  was  in 
harmony  with  the  actual  facts  and  the  permanent  conditions  of 
the  problem  he  had  to  solve. 

Training  The  years  which  followed  the  completion  of  his 
iife.PUl  academical  studies — those  golden  years  which  generally 
determine  the  complexion  of  a  man's  future  life — were 
not  devoted  in  his  case  to  any  definite  pursuit ;  for 
though  he  entered  himself  of  Lincoln's  Inn  in  June, 
1835,  he  does  not  appear  to  have  ever  embarked  in  the 
professional  study  of  law. 

The  scanty  notices  which  remain  of  this  period  show 
him  chiefly  residing  at  Broomhall,  where,  in  his  father's 
absence,  he  takes  his  place  in  the  affairs  of  the  county 
of  Fife ;  commands  his  troop  of  yeomanry  ;  now  pre- 
sides at  a  farmers'  dinner,  for  which  he  has  written  an 
appropriate  song  ;  now,  at  the  request  of  Dr.  Chalmers, 
speaks  at  a  public  meeting  in  favour  of  church  extension. 
At  one  time  we  hear  of  long  solitary  rides  over  field 
and  fell,  during  which  the  thoughts  and  feelings  that 
stirred  in  him  would  take  the  shape  of  a  sonnet  or  a 
poem,  to  be  confided  to  one  of  his  sisters  ;  at  another 
time  he  is  keeping  up  a  regular  correspondence  on 
abstruse  questions  of  philosophy  with  his  brother 
Frederick,  still  at  Oxford. 

In  these  pursuits,  as  well  as  in  the  somewhat  harass- 
ing occupation  of  disentangling  the  family  property 
from  its  embarrassments,  he  was  preparing  himself  for 
future  usefulness  by  the  exercise  of  the  same  industry 
and  patience,  the  same  grasp  both  of  details  and  of  gene- 
ral purpose,  which  he  showed  in  the  political  career 
gradually  dawning  upon  him.  It  was  observed  that, 
^whatsoever  his  hand  found  to  do,  he  did  it  with  all 
his  might,  as  well  as  with  a  judgment  and  discretion 
beyond  his  years,  and  a  tact  akin  to  genius,)  He  was 

1840.  M.P.   FOR   SOUTHAMPTON.  9 

undergoing,  perhaps,  the  best  training  for  the  varied 
duties  to  which  he  was  to  be  called — that  peculiarly 
British  c  discipline  of  mind,  body,  and  heart '  to  which 
observers  like  Bunsen  attribute  the  effectiveness  of 
England's  public  men. 

As  early  as  1834,  when  he  had  barely  completed  his 
twenty-third  year,  he  published  a  Letter  to  the  Electors 
of  Great  Britain,  with  the  view  of  vindicating  the  policy 
and  the  position  of  the  Tory  leaders,  more  especially  of 
the  Duke  of  Wellington.     A  similar  motive,  the  desire  of   I 
protesting  against  a  monopoly  of  liberal  sentiments_J)y 
the  Whigs,  and  showing  in  his  own  person  that  a  Tory  ' 
was  not  necessarily  a  narrow  bigot,   impelled  him  to  j 
offer  himself  as  a  candidate  at  the  election  of  1837,  on  1 
the   occurrence    of  an  unexpected  vacancy  in  the  re- 
presentation of  Fifeshire.     But,  coming  forward  at  a 
moment's  warning,  he  never  had  any  chance  of  success, 
and  was  defeated  by  a  large  majority. 

In  the  year  1840,  George,  Lord  Bruce,  the  eldest  $t.p.  for 
son  of  Lord  Elgin  by  his  first  wife,  died,  unmarried, 
and  James  became  heir  to  the  earldom.  On  April  22, 
^1841^)  he  married  Elizabeth  Mary,  daughter  of  Mr. 
C.  L.  Gumming  Bruce.  At  the  general  election  in 
July  of  the  same  year  he  stood  for  the  borough  of 
Southampton,  and  was  returned  at  the  head  of  the  poll. 
His  political  views  at  this  time  were  very  much  those 
which  have  since  been  called  'Liberal  Conservative.' 
Speaking  at  a  great  banquet  at  Southampton  he  said — 

I  am  a  Conservative,  not  upon  principles  of  exclusionism — • 
not  from  narrowness  of  view,  or  illiberality  of  sentiment — but 
because  I  believe  that  our  admirable   Constitution,  on  prin- 
ciples more  exalted  and  under  sanctions  more  holy  than  those 
which   Owenism  or   Socialism  can  boast>  proclaims   between 
men  of  all  classes  and  degrees  in  the  body  politic  a  sacred  bond   i 
of  brotherhood  in  the  recognition  of  a  common  warfare  here,   j 
and  a  common   hope  hereafter.     I   am   a    Conservative,   not 
because  I  am   adverse   to   improvement,   not   because   I   am 

10  EARLY   YEARS.  CH.  I. 

unwilling  to  repair  what  is  wasted,  or  to  supply  what  is 
/  defective  in  the  political  fabric,  but  because  I  am  satisfied  that, 
in  order  to  improve  effectually,  you  must  be  resolved  most 
religiously  to  preserve.  I  am  a  Conservative,  because  I 
believe  that  the  institutions  of  our  country,  religious  as  well 
as  civil,  are  wisely  adapted,  when  duly  and  faithfully  adminis- 
tered, to  promote,  not  the  interest  of  any  class  or  classes 
exclusively,  but  the  happiness  and  welfare  of  the  great  body 
of  the  people ;  and  because  I  feel  that,  on  the  maintenance  of 
these  institutions,  not  only  the  economical  prosperity  of  Eng- 
land, but,  what  is  yet  more  important,  the  virtues  that  distin- 
guish and  adorn  the  English  character,  under  God,  mainly 

on        Parliament  met  on  August  19,  and,  on  the  24th,  the 
dress.        new  member  seconded  the  amendment  on  the  Address, 
in  a  speech  of  great  promise.     In  the  course  of  it  he 
professed  himself  a  friend  to  Free  Trade,  but  Free  Trade 
as  explained  and  vindicated  by  Mr.  Huskisson : — 

He  should  at  all  times  be  prepared  to  vote  for  a  free  trade 
on  principles  of  reciprocity,  due  regard  being  had  to  the 
interests  which  had  grown  up  under  our  present  commercial 
system,  without  which,  as  he  conceived,  the  rights  of  the 
labouring  classes  could  not  be  protected.  Much  had  been  on 
various  occasions  said  about  the  interests  of  the  capitalists  and 
the  landlords,  but  unless  the  measures  of  a  Government  were 
^  directed  equally  to  secure  the  rights  of  the  working  classes, 
'•  they  never  should  be  supported  by  a  vote  of  his.  It  was  true 
j  that  the  landlord  might  derive  some  increased  value  to  his  pro- 
perty from  the  increase  of  factories  and  other  buildings  upon 
it,  and  that  the  capitalist  might  more  advantageously  invest 
his  capital,  or  he  might  withdraw  it  from  a  sinking  concern  ; 
but  the  only  capital  of  the  labourer  was  his  skill  in  his  own 
particular  walk,  and  it  was  a  mockery  to  tell  him  that  he  could 
find  a  satisfactory  compensation  elsewhere. 

But  the  most  characteristic  part  of  his  speech  was 
that  in  which  he  commented  on  the  i  harsh,  severe,  and 
'unjust  terms'  in  which  it  had  been  the  fashion  to 
designate  those  who  had  taken  an  opposite  view  on 

1842.  SPEECH   ON   THE   ADDRESS.  11 

these  questions  to  that  taken  by  Her  Majesty's  Govern- 
ment : — 

In  a  day  (he  said)  when  all  monopolies  are  denounced,  I 
must  he  permitted  to  say  that,  to  my  mind,  the  monopoly 
which  is  the  most  intolerable  and  odious  is  the  pretension  to 
the  monopoly  of  public  virtue.  ^K^* 

The  amendment  was  carried  by  a  large  majority. 
Lord  Melbourne  resigned,  and  Sir  Robert  Peel  became 
Prime  Minister.  About  the  same  time,  by  the  death  of 
his  father  and  his  own  succession  to  the  peerage,  the 
young  Lord's  brief  career  in  the  House  of  Commons 
was  closed  for  ever  ;  no  Scottish  peer  being  eligible, 
according  to  the  commonly  received  opinion,  to  sit  in 
the  Lower  House.  He  appears,  indeed,  to  have  had 
at  one  time  an  idea  of  pressing  the  question ;  but  he 
abandoned  this  intention  on  finding  that  it  had  been 
entertained  twenty -five  years  before  by  Lord  Aberdeen, 
and  given  up  by  him  on  the  ground,  that  the  majority 
of  the  Scottish  Peers  looked  upon  the  proposal  as  lower- 
ing to  their  body,  and  as  implying  inferiority  on  their 
part  to  the  English  Peers. 

At  this  time  it  seemed  as   if  the   fair  promise    of  Governor 
eloquence  and  statesmanship  had  been  shown  to  public 
life  only  to  be  withdrawn  from  it ;  but  a  path  was  about 
to  be  opened,  leading  to  a  new  field  of  action,  distant, 
indeed,  and  often  thankless,  but  giving  scope  for  the 
exercise  of  gifts,  both  of  mind  and  character,  which  can 
rarely   be  exhibited  in   a   Parliamentary   career.   /In 
March  1842,   at  the  early  age  of  thirty,  he  was  se-  t 
lected  by  Lord  Stanley,  who  was  then  Secretary  for^ 
the  Colonies,  for  the  important  post  of  Governor  of/ 

12  JAMAICA,  CH.  H, 




Ship-  LORD  ELGIN  sailed  for  Jamaica  in  the  middle  of  April 
1842.  The  West  Indian  steamers  at  that  time  held 
their  rendezvous  for  the  collection  and  distribution  of 
the  mails  not,  as  now,  at  St.  Thomas,  but  at  a  little 
island  called  Turk's  Island,  a  mere  sandbank,  hedged 
with  coral  reefs.  The  vessel  in  which  Lord  Elgin  was 
a  passenger  made  this  island  during  the  night;  but  the 
captain,  over  anxious  to  keep  his  time,  held  on  towards 
the  shore.  They  struck  on  a  spike  of  coral,  which 
pierced  the  ship's  side  and  held  her  impaled  ;  fortu- 
nately so,  for  she  was  thus  prevented  from  backing  out  to 
sea  and  foundering  with  all  hands,  as  other  vessels  did. 
Though  the  ship  itself  became  a  total  wreck,  no  lives 
were  lost,  and  nearly  everything  of  value  was  saved; 
but  from  the  shock  of  that  night  Lady  Elgin,  though 
apparently  little  alarmed  at  the  time,  never  recovered. 
Death  of  Two  months  afterwards,  in  giving  birth  to  a  daughter, 
Elgin.  now  Lady  Elma  Thurlow,  she  was  seized  with  violent 
convulsions,  which  were  nearly  fatal;  and  though,  to 
the  surprise  of  the  medical  men,  she  rallied  from  this 
attack,  her  health  was  seriously  impaired,  and  she  died 
in  the  summer  of  the  following  year. 

Position  of       There  are  probably  few  situations  of  greater  difficulty 

and  Delicacy  j^  ^  Qf  ^  Governor  of  a  British  colony 

1842.       GOVERNMENT   OF   A  WEST   INDIAN   COLONY.         13 

which  possesses  representative  institutions.  (A.  consti-  in  a  West 
tutional  sovereign,  but  with  frail  and  temporary  tenure,  coiJny 
he  is  expected  not  to  reign  only  but  to  govern ;  and  to 
govern  under  the  orders^oTadistant  minister,  who,  if 
he  has  one  eye  on  the  colony,  must  keep  the  other  on 
home  politics.  Thus,  without  any  power  in  himself,  he 
is  a  meeting-point  of  two  different  and  generally  antago- 
nistic forces — the  will  of  the  imperial  government  and 
the  will  of  the  local  legislature.  To  act  in  harmony 
with  both  these  forces,  and  to  bring  them  into  some- 
thing of  harmony  with  each  other,  requires,  under  the 
most  favourable  circumstances,  a  rare  union  of  firmness 
with  patience  and  tact.  But  the  difficulties  were  much 
aggravated  in  a  West  Indian  colony  in  the  early  days 
of  Emancipation.) 

Here  the  local  legislature  was  a  democratic  oligarchy,  such  as 
partly  composed  of  landowners,  but  chiefly  of  overseers,  Jamaica> 
with  no  permanent  stake  in  the  country.  And  this 
legislature  had  to  be  induced  to  pass  measures  for  the 
benefit  of  those  very  blacks  of  whose  enforced  service 
they  had  been  deprived,  and  whose  paid  labour  they 
found  it  difficult  to  obtain.  Add  to  this  that,  in  Jamaica, 
a  long  period  of  contention  with  the  mother-country 
had  left  a  feeling  of  bitter  resentment  for  the  past,  and 
sullen  despondency  as  regards  the  future.  Moreover, 
the  balance  had  to  be  held  between  the  Church  of 
England  on  the  one  hand,  which  was  in  possession  of 
all  the  ecclesiastical  endowments,  and  probably  of  all 
the  learning  and  cultivation  of  the  island,  and,  on  the 
other  hand,  the  various  sects,  especially  that  of  the 
Baptists,  who,  having  fought  vigorously  for  the  Negroes 
in  the  battle  of  Emancipation,  now  held  undisputed  sway 
over  their  minds,  and  who,  as  was  natural,  found  it 
difficult  to  abandon  the  position  of  demagogues  and 

Lord  Elgin  was  at  once  fortunate  and  unfortunate  in 
coming   after   the    most   conciliatory   and   popular    of 

14  JAMAICA.  OH.  II. 

governors,  Sir  C.  Metcalfe.  The  island  was  in  a  state 
of  peace  and  harmony  which  had  been  long  unknown 
to  it ;  but  the  singular  affection,  which  Metcalfe  had 
inspired  in  all  classes,  made  them  look  forward  with 
the  most  gloomy  forebodings  to  the  advent  of  his  suc- 

state  of  Moreover,  to  use  Lord  Elgin's  own  language,  a  tone 
°f  despondency  with  reference  to  the  prospects  of  the 
owners  of  property  had  long  been  considered  the  test 
of  a  sincere  regard  for  the  welfare  of  Jamaica.  He 
who  had  been  most  successful  in  proclaiming  the  de- 
pression under  which  the  landed  and  trading  interests 
laboured,  had  been  held  to  be  in  the  popular  acceptation 
of  the  term  the  truest  friend  to  the  colony. 

Nothing  could  be  more  alien  to  the  spirit  of  inquiry 
and  enterprise  which  leads  to  practical  improvement. 
In  an  enervating  climate,  with  a  proprietary  for  the 
most  part  non-resident,  and  a  peasantry  generally  inde- 
pendent of  their  employers,  much  encouragement  is 
requisite  to  induce  managers  to  encounter  the  labour 
and  responsibility  which  attends  the  introduction  of 
new  systems ;  but,  by  reason  of  the  unfortunate  prepos- 
session above  described,  the  announcement  of  a  belief 
that  the  planters  had  not  exhausted  the  resources  within 
their  reach,  had  been  considered  a  declaration  of  hostility 
towards  that  class. 

And  truly  (wrote  Lord  Elgin  himself)  the  onus  probandi  lay, 
and  pretty  heavily  too,  upon  the  propounder  of  the  obnoxious 
doctrine  of  hope.  Was  it  not  shown  on  the  face  of  unques- 
tioned official  returns,  that  the  exports  of  the  island  had  dwindled 
to  one-third  of  their  former  amount  ?  Was  it  not  attested  even 
in  Parliament,  that  estates,  which  used  to  produce  thousands 
annually,  were  sinking  money  year  after  year?  Was  it  not 
apparent  that  the  labourers  stood  in  a  relation  of  independence 
towards  the  owners  of  capital  and  land,  totally  unknown  to  a 
similar  class  in  any  fully  peopled  country  ?  All  these  were 
facts  and  indisputable.  And  again,  was  it  not  equally  certain 
that  undeserved  aspersions  were  cast  upon  the  planters  ?  Were 

1842.  STATE   OF  OPINION   IN  THE   ISLAND.  15 

they  not  held  responsible  for  results  over  which  they  could 
exercise  no  manner  of  control?  and  was  it  not  natural  that, 
having  been  thus  calumniated,  they  should  be  somewhat  im- 
patient of  advice? 

From  the  day  of  Lord  Elgin's  arrival  in  the  colony, 
he  was  convinced  that  the  endeavour  to  work  a  change 
on  public  opinion  in  this  respect,  would  constitute  one 
of  his  first  and  most  important  duties ;  but  he  was  not 
insensible  to  the  difficulties  with  which  the  experiment 
was  surrounded.  He  felt  that  a  new  Governor,  rash 
enough  to  assert  that  all  was  not  yet  accomplished 
which  ingenuity  and  perseverance  could  achieve,  might 
have  perilled  his  chance  of  benefiting  the  colony.  Men 
would  have  said,  and  with  some  truth,  '  he  knows 
i  nothing  of  the  matter ;  his  information  is  derived  from 
4  A.  or  B. ;  he  is  a  tool  in  their  hands ;  he  will  undo 
4  all  the  good  which  others  have  effected  by  enlisting 
4  the  sympathies  of  England  in  our  favour. '  He  would 
have  been  deemed  a  party  man,  and  become  an  object 
of  suspicion  and  distrust. 

It  Avas  soon  found,  however,  that  the  new  Governor 
was  as  anxious  as  his  predecessor  had  been  to  conciliate 
the  good  will  and  promote  the  interests  of  all  ranks  of 
the  community  in  a  spirit  of  perfect  fairness  and 
moderation.  The  agitation  of  vexed  constitutional 
questions  he  earnestly  deprecated  as  likely  to  interrupt 
the  harmony  happily  prevailing  between  the  several 
branches  of  the  legislature,  and  to  divert  the  attention 
of  influential  members  of  the  community  from  the 
material  interests  of  the  colony  to  the  consideration  of 
more  exciting  subjects.  4I  do  not  underrate,'  he  said, 
4  the  importance  of  constitutional  questions,  nor  am  I 
'  insensible  to  the  honour  which  may  be  acquired  by 
4  their  satisfactory  adjustment.  In  the  present  crisis  of 
4  our  fortunes,  however,  I  am  impressed  with  the  belief 
4  that  he  is  the  best  friend  to  Jamaica  who  concentrates 
'  his  energies  on  the  promotion  of  the  moral  well-being 

16  JAMAICA.  CH.  II. 

4  of  the  population,  and  the  restoration  of  the  economical 
'  prosperity  of  the  island.' 

Questions  The  finances  of  the  colony  were  at  this  time  in  a  state 
finance,  ^o  requ|re  fae  most  careful  treatment.  At  a  moment 
when  the  recent  violent  change  in  the  distribution  of 
the  wealth  of  the  community  had  left  the  proprietary 
body  generally  in  a  depressed  condition,  the  Legislature 
had  to  provide  for  the  wants  of  the  newly  emancipated 
population,  by  increasing  at  great  cost  the  ecclesiastical 
and  judicial  establishments;  and  at  the  same  time  it  was 
necessary  that  a  quantity  of  inconvertible  paper  recently 
set  afloat  should  be  redeemed,  if  the  currency  was  to  be 
fixed  on  a  sound  basis.  Under  these  conditions  it  was 
not  easy  to  equalise  the  receipts  and  expenditure  of  the 
island  treasury;  and  the  difficulty  was  not  diminished 
by  the  necessity  of  satisfying  critics  at  home.  Before 
long  an  occasion  arose  to  test  Lord  Elgin's  tact  and 
discretion  in  mediating  on  such  questions  between  the 
colony  and  the  mother -country. 

Towards  the  end  of  1842  a  new  tariff  was  enacted  by 
the  legislature  of  the  island.  When  the  Act  embody- 
ing it  was  sent  home,  it  was  found  to  violate  certain 
economical  principles  recently  adopted  in  this  country. 
An  angry  despatch  from  Downing  Street  informed 
Lord  Elgin  that  it  was  disapproved,  and  that  nothing 
but  an  apprehension  of  the  financial  embarrassments 
that  must  ensue  prevented  its  being  formally  disallowed. 
In  terms  almost  amounting  to  a  reprimand,  it  was  in- 
timated that  the  adoption  of  such  objectionable  enact- 
ments might  be  prevented  if  the  Governor  would  exer- 
cise the  legitimate  influence  of  his  oifice  in  opposino- 
them ;  and  it  was  added,  4  If,  unfortunately,  your  efforts 
'  should  be  unsuccessful,  and  if  any  such  bill  should  be 
'presented  for  your  acceptance,  it  is  Her  Majesty's 
4  pleasure  and  command  that  you  withhold  your  assent 
1  from  it.' 

Lord  Elgin  replied  by  a  temperate  representation, 

that  it  was  but  natural  tliat  traces  of  a  policy  long 
sanctioned  by  the  mother-country  should  remain  in  the 
legislation  of  the  colony;  that  the  duties  in  question 
were  not  found  injuriously  to  check  trade,  while  they 
were  needed  to  meet  the  expenditure  :  moreover,  that 
the  Assembly  was,  and  always  had  been,  extremely 
jealous  of  any  interference  in  the  matter  of  self- taxa- 
tion :  lastly,  that  '  while  sensible  that  the  services  of  a 
'  Governor  must  be  unprofitable  if  he  failed  to  acquire 
c  and  exercise  a  legitimate  moral  influence  in  the  general 
c  conduct  of  affairs,  he  was  at  the  same  time  convinced 
4  that  a  just  appreciation  of  the  difficulties  with  which 
c  the  legislature  of  the  island  had  yet  to  contend,  and  of 
'the  sacrifices  and  exertions  already  made  under  the 
1  pressure  of  no  ordinary  embarrassments,  was  an  indis- 
'  peusable  condition  to  his  usefulness.' 

The  Home  Government  felt  the  weight  of  these  con- 
siderations, and  the  correspondence  closed  with  the 
revocation  of  the  peremptory  command  above  quoted. 

The  object  which  Lord  Elgin  had  most  at  heart  was  Eiucation, 
to  improve  the  moral  and  social  condition  of  the  Negroes, 
and  to  fit  them,  by  education,  for  the  freedom  which 
had  been  thrust  upon  them;  but,  with  characteristic 
tact  and  sagacity,  he  preferred  to  compass  this  end 
through  the  agency  of  the  planters  themselves.  By 
encouraging  the  application  of  mechanical  contrivances 
to  agriculture,  he  sought  to  make  it  the  interest  not 
only  of  the  peasants  to  acquire,  but  of  the  planters  to 
give  them,  the  education  necessary  for  using  machinery  • 
while  he  lost  no  opportunity  of  impressing  on  the  land- 
owning class  that,  if  they  wished  to  secure  a  constant 
supply  of  labour,  they  could  not  do  so  better  than  by 
creating  in  the  labouring  class  the  wants  which  belong 
to  educated  beings. 

The  following  extracts  from  private  letters,  written 
at   the   time   to   the  Secretary   of  State,  contain   the 



18  .JAMAICA.  CH.  II. 

freshest  and  best  expression  of  his  views  on  these  and 
similar  questions  of  island  politics : — 

In  some  quarters  I  am  informed,  that  less  desire  for  education 
is  shown  now  by  the  Negroes  than  during  the  apprenticeship ; 
and  the  reason  assigned  is,  that  it  was  then  supposed  that 
certain  social  and  political  advantages  would  accrue  to  those 
who  were  able  to  read,  but  that  now,  when  all  is  gained,  and 
all  are  on  a  par  in  these  respects,  the  same  zeal  for  learning  no 
longer  prevails.  It  has  been  suggested  that  a  great  impulse 
might  be  given  in  this  direction,  by  working  on  the  feeling 
which  existed  formerly ;  confining  the  franchise  for  instance 
to  qualified  persons  who  could  read,  or  by  some  other  expedient 
of  the  same  nature.  This  being  an  important  constitutional 
question,  I  have  not  thought  it  right  to  give  the  notion  any 
encouragement;  but  I  submit  it  as  coming  from  persons  who 
are,  I  believe,  sincere  well-wishers  to  the  Negro.  It  is  not  very 
easy  to  keep  children  steadily  at  school,  or  to  enforce  a  very 
rigid  discipline  on  them  when  they  are  there.  Parents  who  have 
never  been  themselves  educated,  cannot  be  expected  to  attach 
a  very  high  value  to  education.  The  system  of  Slavery  was 
not  calculated  to  strengthen  the  family  ties ;  and  parents  do  not, 
I  apprehend,  exercise  generally  a  very  steady  and  consistent 
control  in  their  families.  The  consequence  is,  that  children 
are  pretty  generally  at  liberty  to  attend  school  or  not  as  they 
please.  If  the  rising  generation-,  however,  are  not  educated, 
what  is  to  become  of  this  island  ?  That  they  have  withdrawn 
themselves  to  a  considerable  extent  from  field  labour  is,  I 
think,  generally  admitted.  It  is  therefore  undoubtedly  desir- 
able that  all  legitimate  inducements  should  be  held  out,  both  to 
parents  and  children,  to  encourage  the  latter  to  attend  school. 

In  urging  the  adoption  of  machinery  in  aid  of  manual  labour, 
one  main  object  I  have  had  in  view  has  ever  been  the  creation 
of  ^^aristocracy  among  the  labourers  themselves;  th^substi- 
tutionoFTgiven  amount  of  skilled  labour  for  a  larger  amount 
of  unskilled.  My  hope  is,  that  we  may  thus  engender  a  healthy 
emulation  among  the  labourers,  a  desire  to  obtain  situations  of 
eminence  and  mark  among  their  fellows,  and  also  to  push  their 
children  forwards  in  the  same  career.  Where  labour  is  so 
scarce  as  it  is  here,  it  is  undoubtedly  a  great  object  to  be  able 
to  effect  at  a  cheaper  rate  by  machinery,  what  you  now  attempt 

1842-5.  AGRICULTURE.  19 

to  execute  very  unsatisfactorily  by  the  hand  of  man.  But  it 
seems  to  me  to  be  a  still  more  important  object  to  awaken  this 
honourable  ambition  in  the  breast  of  the  peasant,  and  I  do  not 
see  how  this  can  be  effected  by  any  other  means.  So  long  as 
labour  means  nothing  more  than  digging  cane  holes,  or  carry- 
ing loads  on  the  head,  physical  strength  is  the  only  thing  re- 
quired, no  moral  or  intellectual  quality  comes  into  play.  But, 
in  dealing  with  mechanical  appliances,  the  case  is  different; 
knowledge,  acuteness,  steadiness  are  at  a  premium.  The 
Negro  will  soon  appreciate  the  worth  of  these  qualities,  when 
they  give  him  position  among  his  own  class.  An  indirect 
value  will  thus  attach  to  education. 

Every  successful  effort  made  by  enterprising  and  intelligent 
individuals  to  substitute  skilled  for  unskilled  labour ;  every 
premium  awarded  by  societies  in  acknowledgment  of  superior 
honesty,  carefulness,  or  ability,  has  a  tendency  to  afford  a 
remedy  the  most  salutary  and  effectual  which  can  be  devised 
for  the  .evil  here  set  forth. 

With  the  view  of  awakening  an  interest  in  the  subject  Agncui- 
of  agricultural  improvements,  Lord  Elgin  himself  of-  l 
fered  a  premium  of  100£.  for  the  best  practical  treatise 
on  the  cultivation  of  the  cane,  with  a  special  reference 
to  the  adoption  of  mechanical  aids  and  appliances  in  aid 
or   in   lieu   of  mechanical  labour.      In  forwarding  to 


Lord  Stanley  printed  copies  of  eight  of  the  essays 
which  competed  for  the  prize,  he  wrote  as  follows  : — 

Much,  I  believe,  is  involved  in  the  issue  of  this  and  similar 
experiments.  So  long  as  the  planter  despairs, — so  long  as  he 
assumes  that  the  cane  can  be  cultivated  and  sugar  manufactured 
to  profit  only  on  the  system  adopted  during  slavery, — so  long 
as  he  looks  to  external  aids  (among  which  I  class  immigration) 
as  his  sole  hope  of  salvation  from  ruin — with  what  feelings  must 
he  contemplate  all  earnest  efforts  to  civilise  the  mass  of  the 
population  ?  Is  education  necessary  to  qualify  the  peasantry 
to  carry  on  the  rude  field  operations  of  slavery  ?  May  not 
some  persons  even  entertain  the  apprehension,  that  it  will  in- 
dispose them  to  such  pursuits?  But  let  him,  on  the  other 
hand,  believe  that,  by  the  substitution  of  more  artificial  methods 
for  those  hitherto  employed,  he  may  materially  abridge  the  ex- 

c  2 

20  JAMAICA.  OH.  II. 

pense  of  raising  his  produce,  and  he  cannot  fail  to  perceive 
that  an  intelligent,  well-educated  labourer,  with  something  of  a 
character  to  lose,  and  a  reasonable  ambition  to  stimulate  him 
to  exertion,  is  likely  to  prove  an  instrument  more  apt  for  his 
purposes  than  the  ignorant  drudge  who  differs  from  the  slave 
only  in  being  no  longer  amenable  to  personal  restraint.1 

One  of  the  measures  in  which  Lord  Elgin  took  the 
most  active  interest  was  the  establishment  of  a  i  General 
*  Agricultural  Society  for  the  Island  of  Jamaica,'  and  he 
was  much  gratified  by  receiving  Her  Majesty's  permis- 
sion to  give  to  it  the  sanction  of  her  name  as  Patroness. 

I  am  confident  (he  writes  to  Lord  Stanley)  that  the  notice 
which  Her  Majesty  is  pleased  to  take  of  the  institution  will  be 
duly  appreciated,  and  will  be  productive  of  much  good. 

You  must  allow  me  to  remark  (he  adds)  that  moral  results 
of  much  moment  are  involved  in  the  issue  of  the  efforts  which 
we  are  now  making  for  the  improvement  of  agriculture  in  this 
colony.  Not  only  has  the  impulse  which  has  been  imparted  to 
the  public  mind  in  Jamaica  been  beneficial  in  itself  and  in  its 
direct  effects,  but  it  has,  I  am  firmly  persuaded,  checked 
opposing  tendencies,  which  threatened  very  injurious  conse- 
quences to  Negro  civilisation.  To  reconcile  the  planter  to  the 
heavy  burdens  which  he  was  called  to  bear  for  the  improve- 
ment of  our  establishments  and  the  benefit  of  the  mass  of  the 
population,  it  was  necessary  to  persuade  him  that  he  had  an 
interest  in  raising  the  standard  of  education  and  morals  among 
the  peasantry;  and  this  belief  could  be  imparted  only  by 
inspiring  a  taste  for  a  more  artificial  system  of  husbandry. 
By  the  silent  operation  of  such  salutary  convictions,  prejudices 
of  old  standing  are  removed  ;  the  friends  of  the  Negro  and  of 
the  proprietary  classes  find  themselves  almost  unconsciously 
acting  in  concert,  and  conspiring  to  complete  that  great  and 
holy  work  of  which  the  emancipation  of  the  slave  was  but  the 

M>ou'n         ^n  a  &eneral  Surve7  of  the  state  of  the  labouring 
iias°    classes,  taken  after  he  had  been  a  little  more  than  a 

*  It  is  impossible  not  to  be  struck  cultural  poor  in  some  parts  of  En<»- 
with  the  applicability  of  these  re-  land,  and  the  question  of  extending 
marks  to  the  condition  of  the  agri-  among  them  the  benefits  of  education 




year  in  the  island,  he  was  able  to  give  a  most  favourable 
report  of  their  condition,  in  all  that  concerns  material 
prosperity  and  comfort  of  living. 

The  truth  is  (he  wrote)  that  our  labourers  are  for  the  most 
part  in  the  position  of  persons  who  live  habitually  within  their 
incomes.  They  are  generally  sober  and  frugal,  and  accustomed 
to  a  low  standard  of  living.  Their  gardens  supply  them  in  great 
measure  with  the  necessaries  of  life.  The  chief  part,  therefore, 
of  what  they  receive  in  money,  whether  as  wages  or  as  the 
price  of  the  surplus  produce  of  their  provision  grounds,  they 
can  lay  aside  for  occasional  calls,  and,  when  they  set  their 
minds  on  an  acquisition  or  an  indulgence,  they  do  not  stickle 
at  the  cost.  I  am  told  that,  in  the  shops  at  Kingston,  expensive 
articles  of  dress  are  not  unusually  purchased  by  members  of 
the  families  of  black  labourers.  Whether  the  ladies  are  good 
judges  of  the  merits  of  silks  and  cambrics  I  do  not  pretend  to 
decide ;  but  they  pay  ready  money,  and  it  is  not  for  the  sellers 
to  cavil  at  their  discrimination.  The  purchase  of  land,  as  you 
well  know,  is  going  on  rapidly  throughout  the  island ;  and  the 
money  thus  invested  must  have  been  chiefly,  though  not  en- 
tirely, accumulated  by  the  labouring  classes  since  slavery  was 
abolished.  A  proprietor  told  me  the  other  day  that  he  had, 
within  twelve  months,  sold  ten  acres  of  land  in  small  lots,  for 
the  sum  of  9007.  The  land  sold  at  so  high  a  price  is  situated 
near  a  town,  and  the  purchasers  pay  him  an  annual  rent  of  50#. 
per  acre,  for  provision  grounds  on  the  more  distant  parts  of  the 
estate.  Again,  in  most  districts,  the  labourers  are  possessed  of 
horses,  for  which  they  often  pay  handsomely.  A  farm  servant 
not  unfrequently  gives  from  127.  to  207.  for  an  animal  which 
he  intends  to  employ,  not  for  purposes  of  profit,  but  in  riding 
to  church,  or  on  occasions  of  festivity. 

Whence  then  are  these  funds  derived  ?  That  the  peasantry 
are  generally  frugal  and  sober  I  have  already  observed.  But 
they  are  assuredly  not  called  to  tax  their  physical  powers  un- 
duly, in  order  to  achieve  the  independence  I  have  described. 
Although  the  estate  I  lately  visited  is  well  managed,  and  the 
best  understanding  subsists  between  employer  and  labourers, 
the  latter  seldom  made  their  appearance  in  the  field  until  some 
time  after  I  had  sallied  forth  for  my  morning  walk.  They 
work  on  the  estate  only  nine  days  in  the  fortnight,  devoting 

22  JAMAICA.  CH.  U. 

the  alternate  Fridays  to  the  cultivation  of  their  provision 
grounds,  and  the  Saturdays  to  marketing  and  amusements. 
On  the  whole,  seeing  that  the  climate  is  suited  to  their  consti- 
tutions, that  they  experience  none  of  the  drawbacks  to  which 
new  settlers,  even  in  the  most  fertile  countries,  are  subject, 
that  they  are  by  disposition  and  temperament  a  cheerful  race, 
I  much  doubt  whether  any  people  on  the  face  of  the  globe 
enjoy  as  large  a  share  of  happiness  as  the  Creole  peasantry  of 
this  island.  And  this  is  a  representation  not  over-charged,  or 
highly  coloured,  but  drawn  in  all  truth  and  sobriety  of  the 
actual  condition  of  a  population  which  was,  a  very  few  years 
ago,  subjected  to  the  degrading,  depressing  influences  of  slavery. 
Well  may  you  and  others  who  took  part  in  the  work  of  eman- 
cipation rejoice  in  the  success  of  your  great  experiment. 

But  was  it  possible  to  indulge  the  same  feelings  of 
exultation  when  contemplating  their  condition  morally, 
and  marking  the  indications  of  advance  towards  a  higher 
state  of  civilisation?  In  the  island  itself  controversy 
was  rife  as  to  the  degree  in  which  such  results  had  been 
already  achieved,  and  the  promise  of  further  progress. 
Some  of  the  more  enthusiastic  and  ardent  of  that  class 
of  persons  who  had  been  the  zealous  advocates  of  the 
interests  of  the  Negro  population  at  a  former  period, 
were  now  disposed  to  judge  most  hardly  of  their  con- 
duct. Their  very  sympathy  with  the  victims  of  the 
system  formerly  prevailing,  led  them  to  conceive  un- 
bounded hopes  of  -the  benefits,  moral  and  social  alike, 
which  a  change  would  effect  ;  the  admirable  behaviour 
of  the  peasantry  at  the  time  of  emancipation,  confirmed 
such  anticipations ;  and  they  were  now  beginning  to 
experience  disappointment  on  finding  that  all  they 
looked  for  was  not  immediately  realised.  These  feel- 
ings, however,  Lord  Elgin  did  not  share. 

On  the  whole  (he  said)  I  feel  confident  that  the  moral  results 
consequent  on  the  introduction  of  freedom,  have  been  as  satis- 
factory as  could  in  reason  have  been  expected ;  and,  notwith- 
standing the  very  serious  pecuniary  loss  which  this  measure  has 
entailed  in  many  quarters,  few  indeed,  even  if  they  had  the 

}-5.  RELIGION.  23 

power  to  do  so,  would  consent  to  return  to  the  system  which  • 
has  been  abandoned.  It  is  gratifying  in  the  highest  degree  to 
observe  the  feelings  now  subsisting  between  those  who  lately 
stood  to  each  other  in  the  relation  of  master  and  slave.  Past 
wrongs  are  forgotten,  and  in  the  every-day  dealings  between 
man  and  man  the  humanity  of  the  labourer  is  unhesitatingly 

We  have  seen  how  zealously  Lord  Elgin  exerted  Religion, 
himself  to  realise  his  own  hopes  for  the  prosperity  of 
the  colony,  by  encouraging  the  spread  of  secular  and 
industrial  education.  Not  that  he  regarded  secular 
education  as  all-sufficient.  His  sympathies1  were  en- 
tirely with  those  who  believe  that,  while  4  it  is  a  great 
4  and  a  good  thing  to  know  the  laws  that  govern  this 
4  world,  it  is  better  still  to  have  some  sort  of  faith  in  the 
4  relations  of  this  world  with  another;  that  the  knowledge 
4  of  cause  and  effect  can  never  replace  the  motive  to 
4  do  right  and  avoid  wrong  ;  that  our  clergymen  and 
4  ministers  are  more  useful  than  our  schoolmasters;  that 
4  Religion  is  the  motive  power,  the  faculties  are  the 
4  machines  :  and  the  machines  are  useless  without  the 
4  motive  power.' 2  But,  as  a  practical  statesman,  he  felt 
that  the  one  kind  of  education  he  had  it  in  his  power 
l.o  forward  directly  by  measures  falling  within  his  own 
legitimate  province ;  while  the  other  he  could  only 
promote  indirectly,  by  pointing  out  the  need  for  it,  and 
drawing  attention  to  the  peculiar  circumstances  of  the 
island  respecting  it.  The  following  are  a  few  of  the 
passages  in  which  he  refers  to  the  subject : — 

Much  has  been  done  by  the  island  legislature — more,  I  think, 
than  could  reasonably  have  been  looked  for  under  the  circum- 
stances— towards  making  provision  for  the  religious  necessities 
of  the  population.  But  the  daily  formation  of  small  mountain 
settlements,  and  the  consequent  dispersion  of  large  numbers  in 
districts  remote  from  the  established  places  of  worship,  adds 

1  Vide  inf.  p.  156. 

2  See  the  speech  of  Mr.  W.  E.  Forster,  at  Leeds,  May  20,  1869. 

24  JAMAICA.  CH.  IT. 

greatly  to  the  difficulty  of  extending  to  all  these  humanising 
The  and  civilising  influences.     The  Church   can  keep  its  footing 

Church.  here  oniy  by  the  exhibition  of  missionary  zeal  and  devotion, 
tempered  by  a  spirit  of  Christian  benevolence  and  conciliation. 
I  regret  to  say  that  some  of  the  unhappy  controversies  which 
are  vexing  the  Church  in  England  have  broken  out  here  of  late. 
Discussions  of  this  nature  are  singularly  unprofitable  where  the 
people  need  to  be  instructed  in  the  very  rudiments  of  Christian 
knowledge,  and  where  it  is  so  desirable  to  keep  well  with  all 
who  profess  to  have  a  similar  object  in  view. 

A  single  bishop  in  a  colony,  where  large  funds  are  provided 
by  the  State  for  Church  purposes,  and  where  he  is  beyond  the 
reach  of  the  public  opinion  of  England,  exercises  a  very  great 
and  irresponsible  authority.  If  a  zealous  man,  of  extreme 
'  views  on  points  of  doctrine,  the  clergy  of  the  diocese,  looking 
to  him  alone  for  advancement  in  their  profession,  are  apt  to 
echo  his  sentiments ;  and  the  wide  folding  doors  of  our  mother 
Church,  which  she  flings  open  for  the  reception  of  so  many,  to 
use  Milton's  words,  '  brotherly  dissimilitudes  that  are  not 
*  vastly  disproportioned,'  are  contracted,  to  the  exclusion,  per- 
chance, of  some  whom  it  were  desirable  to  retain  in  our  com- 
munion. If,  on  the  other  hand,  he  be  a  man  of  but  moderate 
piety,  ability,  and  firmness,  the  importunity  of  friends  at  a  dis- 
tance, who  may  wish  to  provide  for  dependents  or  connections, 
and  other  considerations  which  need  not  be  enumerated,  may 
tempt  him  to  lower  the  standard  of  ministerial  qualification,  of 
which  he  is,  of  course,  the  sole  judge.  It  requires  a  person  of 
much  Christian  principle,  and  singular  moderation,  discretion, 
and  tact,  to  administer  powers  of  this  nature  well.  I  have 
every  hope  that  the  bishop  whom  you  have  sent  us  will  prove 
equal  to  the  task.  For  the  sake  of  humanity  and  civilisation, 
as  well  as  for  the  interests  of  the  island,  I  fervently  trust  that 
I  may  not  be  disappointed  in  my  expectations  on  this  head. 

The  complex  and  thwarting  currents  of  interest  and 
ppinion  that  may  exist  in  a  colony  respecting  the  main- 
tenance of  a  State  Church  are  well  illustrated  in  the 
following  extracts : — 

^  Very  soon  after  I  arrived  here,  I  felt  satisfied  that  the  con- 
flicts of  party  in  the  colony  would  ere  long  assume  a  new 
character.  I  perceived  that  the  hostility  to  the  proprietary 

1842-5.  THE  CHURCH.  25 

interests,  which  was  supposed  to  actuate  certain  classes  of  per- 
sons who  had  much  influence  with  the  peasantry,  was  on  the 
decline.  Should  a  state  of  quiescence  prove  incompatible  with 
the  maintenance  of  their  hold  on  their  flocks,  analogy  led  me 
to  anticipate  that  the  Established  Church  would,  in  all  pro- 
bability, become  an  object  of  attack. 

Considering  the  facility  with  which  the  franchise  may  be 
acquired,  it  is  not  a  little  remarkable  that  the  constituency 
should  have  hitherto  increased  so  slowly.  This  phenomenon 
has  not  escaped  the  notice  of  the  opponents  of  the  union  of 
Church  and  State,  and  they  have  ascribed  it  to  the  true  cause. 
They  are  sensible  that  an  uneducated  population  in  easy  cir- 
cumstances, without  practical  grievances,  are  not  likely  to  be 
intent  on  the  acquisition  of  political  privileges.  They  have, 
therefore,  undertaken  to  supply  them  with  a  grievance,  in  order 
to  whet  their  appetite  for  the  franchise,  and  also  to  provide  them 
with  guides  who  shall  instruct  them  in  the  proper  use  of  it. 

But  in  attempting  to  carry  this  scheme  into  eifect  they  have 
encountered  an  obstacle,  which  has,  for  the  time,  entirely 
frustrated  their  intentions.  The  more  educated  and  intelli- 
gent of  the  brown  party  listen  with  disapprobation  to  the  tone 
in  which  the  Baptist  ministers  and  their  adherents  arrogate  to 
themselves  exclusively  the  title  of  friends  and  leaders  of  the 
black  population.  Many  persons  of  this  class  have  already 
embarked  in  public  life ;  some,  as  members  of  Assembly,  have 
taken  part  in  those  transactions  which  are  the  object  of  the 
bitterest  denunciations  of  the  Anti-Church  party.  A  few  are 
Churchmen,  others  Wesleyans.  The  prospect  of  a  Baptist 
oligarchy  ruling  in  undivided  sway  disquiets  them.  They 
have  their  doubts  as  to  whether,  in  the  present  stage  of  our 
civilisation,  the  peasantry  of  this  Island  would  evince  muoh 
discrimination  in  their  selection  of  a  religion  if  left  in  that 
matter  entirely  to  themselves.  In  the  chequered  array  of 
colours  which  our  religious  world  even  now  presents,  com- 
prising every  shade,  from  Roman  Catholicism  and  Judaism,  to 
Myalism,  and  providing  spiritual  gratification  for  every  ^eye, 
they  still  think  it,  on  the  whole,  desirable  that  predominance 
should  be  given  to  some  one  over  the  rest.  Many  have  ex- 
perienced the  bounty  of  the  legislature,  which  has  been  most 
liberal  in  affording  aid  to  all  sects  who  have  applied  for  it. 
They  are  not,  therefore,  as  yet  ready  for  the  overthrow  of  the 

26  «      JAMAICA.  CH.  II. 

Church  Establishment.  But  I  will  not  take  upon  myself  to 
affirm  that,  as  a  body,  they  are  prepared  to  incur  political 
martyrdom  in  its  defence. 

But  apart  from  the  difficulties  —  social,  moral,  and 
religious  —  at  which  we  have  glanced,  there  was  enough 
in  the  political  aspect  of  affairs  to  fill  the  Governor  of 
Jamaica  with  anxiety.  The  franchise  being  within  the 
reach  of  every  one  who  chose  to  stretch  out  a  hand  and 
grasp  it,  might  at  any  time  be  claimed  by  vast  numbers 
of  persons  who  had  recently  been  slaves,  and  were  still 
generally  illiterate.  And  the  Assembly  for  which  this 
constituency  had  to  provide  members  exercised  great 
authority  within  its  own  sphere.  It  discharged  a  large 
portion  of  the  functions  which  usually  devolve  upon 
an  Executive  Government  ;  it  initiated  all  legislative 
measures,  besides  voting  the  supplies  from  year  to  year. 
What  hope  was  there  that  a  body  so  constituted  would 
wield  such  powers  with  discretion  ? 

Harmonis-       Lord  Elgin's  answer  to  this  question  shows  that  he 
already  cherished  that  faith  in  the  harmonising  influence  i 
°f  British  institutions  on  a  mixed  population,  which  | 
afterwards,  at  a  critical  period  of  Canadian  history,  was 
the  mainspring  of  his  policy. 

A  sojourner  in  this  sea  of  the  Antilles,  who  is  watching  with 
heartfelt  anxiety  the  progress  of  the  great  experiment  of  Negro 
emancipation  (an  experiment  which  must  result  in  failure  unless 
religion  and  civilisation  minister  to  the  mind  that  freedom 
which  the  enactments  of  law  have  secured  for  the  body),  might 
well  be  tempted  to  view  the  prospect  to  which  I  have  now 
introduced  you  with  some  feelings  of  misgiving,  were  he  not 
reassured  by  his  firm  reliance  on  the  harmonising  influence  of 
British  connexion,  and  the  power  of  s^adaj3tation  inherent  in 
our  institutions.  On  the  one  side  he  sees  the  model  Eepublic 
of  hayti—  a  coloured  community,  which  has  enjoyed  nearly 
half  a  Century  of  entire  independence  and  self-rule.  And  with 
what  issues?  As  respects  moral  and  intellectual  culture, 
stagnation  :  in  all  that  concerns  material  development,  a  fatal 
retrogression.  He  beholds  there,  at  this  day,  a  miserable 



parody  of  European  and  American  institutions,  without  the 
spirit  that  animates  either :  the  tinsel  of  French  sentiment 
on  the  ground  of  negro  ignorance  :  even  the  *  sacred  right  of 
'  insurrection  '  burlesqued :  a  people  which  has  for  its  only 
living  belief  an  ill-defined  apprehension  of  the  superiority  of 
the  white  man,  and,  for  the  rest,  blunders  on  without  faith  in 
what  regards  this  world  or  that  which  is  to  come. 

He  turns  his  eyes  to  another  quarter  and  perceives  the 
cluster  of  states  which  have  formed  themselves  from  the  break- 
up of  the  Spanish  continental  dominions.  What  ground  of 
consolation  or  hope  does  he  discover  there  ? 

These  illustrations  of  the  working  of  free  systems  constructed 
out  of  the  wreck  of  a  broken-down  African  Slave  Trade  are 
not  indeed  encouraging ;  but  neither  do  they,  in  my  opinion, 
warrant  despair.  I  believe  that  by  great  caution  and  diligence, 
by  firmness  and  gentleness  on  the  part  of  the  parent  state,  and 
much  prudence  in  the  instruments  which  it  employs,  a  people 
with  a  heart  and  soul  may  be  built  up  out  of  the  materials  in 
our  hands.  I  regard  our  local  constitution  as  a  fait  accompli, 
and  have  no  desire  to  remove  a  stone  of  the  fabric.  I  think 
that  a  popular  representative  system  is,  perhaps,  the  best 
expedient  that  can  be  devised  for  blending  into  one  harmonious 
whole  a  community  composed  of  diverse  races  and  colour,^  and 
this  conviction  is  strengthened  when  I  read  the  observations  of 
Sir  H.  Macleod  and  Governor  Light,  on  the  coloured  classes 
in  Demerara  and  Trinidad.  In  colonies  which  have  no  assem- 
blies, it  would  appear  that  aspiring  intellects  have  not  the  same 
opportunity  of  finding  their  level,  and  pent  up  ambitions  lack 
a  vent. 

In  studying  the  play  of  the  various  forces  at  work 
around  him,  and  in  endeavouring  to  direct  them  to 
good  issues,  Lord  Elgin  found  the  best  solace  for  the 
domestic  sorrow  which  darkened  this  period  of  his  life. 
He  lived  chiefly  in  retirement,  at  a  country-house  called 
Craigton,  in  the  Blue  Mountains,  with  his  sister,  now 
Lady  Charlotte  Locker,  and  his  brother  Robert,  who 
was  also  his  most  able  and  efficient  secretary ;  seeing 
little  society  beyond  that  occasioned  by  official  inter- 
course and  receptions,  which  were  never  intermitted  at 

28  JAMAICA.  CH.  It 

Spanish  Town,  the  seat  of  Government.  The  isolation 
and  monotony  of  this  position,  broken  only  once  by  a 
conference  held  with  some  of  the  neighbouring  Governors 
on  a  question  of  common  interest  respecting  immigra- 
tion, could  not  fail  to  be  distasteful  to  his  active  spirit ; 
and  when  it  had  lasted  over  three  years,  it  was  not  un- 
natural that  he  should  seek  to  be  relieved  from  it. 
Early  in  1845  we  find  him  writing  to  Lord  Stanley  as 
follows : — 

Eesigna-          I  am  warned  by  the  commencement  of  the  year  1845  that  I 
10Q'  have  filled  the  situation  of  Governor  of  Jamaica  for  as  long  a 

time  as  any  of  my  predecessors  since  the  Duke  of  Manchester. 
The  period  of  my  administration  has  not  been  marked  by 
striking  incidents,  but  it  has  been  one  of  considerable  social 
progress.  Uninterrupted  harmony  has  prevailed  between  the 
colonists  and  the  local  Government ;  and  it  may  perhaps,  with- 
out exaggeration,  be  affirmed,  that  the  spirit  of  enterprise 
which  has  proceeded  from  Jamaica  during  the  past  two  years 
has  enabled  the  British  West  Indian  colonies  to  endure,  with 
comparative  fortitude,  apprehensions  and  difficulties  which 
might  otherwise  have  depressed  them  beyond  measure.  Cir- 
cumstances have,  however,  occurred  since  my  arrival  in  the 
colony,  unconnected  with  public  affairs,  which  have  materially 
affected  my  views  in  life,  and  which  make  me  contemplate 
with  much  repugnance  the  prospect  of  an  indefinitely  pro- 
longed sojourn  in  this  place.  Without  dwelling  at  any  greater 
length  on  these  painful  topics,  I  venture  to  trust  that  you  will 
acquit  me  of  undue  presumption  when  I  assure  you,  that  in 
my  present  forlorn  and  isolated  position,  nothing  enables  me  to 
persevere  in  the  discharge  of  my  duties,  except  the  hope  that 
my  humble  services  may  earn  for  me  your  confidence  and  the 
approbation  of  my  Sovereign,  and  prove  not  altogether  unpro- 
fitable to  the  community  over  whose  interests  I  am  appointed  to 

He  remained,  however,  at  his  post  for  more  than  a 
year  longer,  and  quitted  it  in  the  spring  of  1846  on 
leave  of  absence,  with  the  understanding  that  he  should 
not  be  required  to  return  to  Jamaica. 

During  nearly  the  whole  period  of  his  government 

1846.  APPOINTED   TO   CANADA.  29 

the  seals  of  the  Colonial  Office  had  been  held  by  Lord  Appoint- 
Stanley,  to  whom  he  owed  his  appointment;  and  at  thej Canada. 
break-up  of  the  Tory  party,  in  the  beginning  of  1846, 
they  passed  into  the  hands  of  his  old  schoolfellow 
and  college  friend,  Mr.  Gladstone.  But  he  had  scarcely 
arrived  in  England  when  a  new  Secretary  arose  in  the 
person  of  Lord  Grey,  to  whom  he  was  unknown  except  j 
by  reputation: — ft  is  all  the  more  creditable  to  both  ' 
parties  that,  in  spite  of  their  political  differences,  Lord 
Grey  should  first  have  endeavoured  to  induce  him,  on 
public  grounds  alone,  to  retain  the  government  of 
Jamaica,  with  the  promise  of  his  unreserved  confidence 
and  most  cordial  support;  and  shortly  afterwards, 
should  have  offered  to  him  the  still  more  important  post 
of  Governor-General  of  British  North  America.  'I 
4  believe,'  wrote  his  Lordship,  in  making  the  offer,  '  that 
'  it  would  be  difficult  to  point  out  any  situation  in  which 
i  great  talents  would  find  more  scope  for  useful  exertion, 
4  or  are  more  wanted  at  this  moment,  and  I  am  sure  that 
1 1  could  not  hope  to  find  anyone  whom  I  could  recom- 
1  mend  to  Her  Majesty  for  that  office  with  so  much  con- 
4  fidence  as  yourself. ' 

So  splendid  an  offer,  made  in  a  manner  so  gratifying, 
might  well  overcome  any  reluctance  which  Lord  Elgin 
felt  to  embark  at  once  on  a  fresh  period  of  expatria- 
tion, and  to  resume  labours  which,  however  cordially 
they  may  be  appreciated  by  a  minister,  are  apt  to 
meet  with  little  recognition  from  the  public. 

He  accepted  it,  not  in  the  spirit  of  mere  selfish  am- 
bition, but  with  a  deep  sense  of  the  responsibilities 
attached  to  it,  which  he  portrayed  in  earnest  and 
forcible  words  at  a  public  dinner  at  Dunfermline  : — 

To  watch  over  the  interests  of  those  great  offshoots  of  the  ^ 
ritish  race  which  plant  themselves  in  distant  lands ;  to  aid 
them  in  their  efforts  to  extend  the  domain  of  civilisation,  and 
to  fulfil  that  first  behest  of  a  benevolent  Creator  to  His  intel- 
ligent creatures — f  subdue  the  earth ; '   to  abet  the  generous 

30  JAMAICA.  On.  II. 

endeavour  to  impart  to  these  rising  communities  the  full  ad- 
vantages of  British  laws,  British  institutions,  and  British  free- 
dom ;  to    assist  them  in  maintaining   unimpaired,  it  may  be  | 
in  strengthening  and  confirming,  those  bonds  of  mutual  affec-  ' 
tion  which  unite  the  parent  and  dependent  states — these  are 
duties  not  to  be  lightly  undertaken,  and  which  may  well  claim 
the  exercise  of  all  the  faculties  and  energies  of  an  earnest  and 
patriotic  mind.jiy 

It  was  arranged  that  he  should  go  to  Canada  at  the 
end  of  the  year.  In  the  interval  he  became  engaged 
to  Lady  Mary  Louisa  Lambton,  daughter  of  the  first 
Earl  of  Durham.  They  were  married  on  November  7th, 
and  in  the  first  days  of  the  year  1847  he  sailed  for 

1847.  CANADA.  31 







IN  passing  from  Jamaica  to  Canada,  Lord  Elgin  went  view  of  the 
not  only  to  a  far  wider  sphere  of  action,  but  to  one  of  Canada. 
infinitely  greater  complication.     For  in  Canada  there 
were  two  civilised  populations  of  nearly  equal  power, 
viewing  each  other  with  traditionary  dislike  and  dis- 
trust:   the   French  habitans  of  the  Lower   Province, 
strong  in  their  connexion  with  the  past,  and  the  British 
settlers,  whose  energy  and  enterprise  gave  unmistakable 
promise  of  predominance  in  the  future.      Canada  had, 
within  a  few  miles  of  her  capital,  a  powerful  and  restless 
neighbour,  whose  friendly  intentions  were  not  always 
sufficient  to  restrain   the  unruly  spirits  on  her  frontier 
from  acts  of  aggression,  which  might  at  any  time  lead 
to  the  most  serious  complications.  Moreover,  in  Canada 
representative  institutions  were   already  more  fully  de- 
veloped  than  in  any  other  colony,    and   were  at  this  Jj 
very  time  passing  through  the  most  critical  period  of  If 
their  final  development. 

/The  rebellion  of  1837  and!838had  necessarily  checked  Rebellion 
the  progress  of  the  colony  towards   self-government,  ( 
It    has    since    been  acknowledged  that  the    demands 
which   led  to  that   rebellion  were    such   as    England 
would  have  gladly  granted  two  or  three  hundred  years 

32  CANADA.  CH.  III. 

before ;  and  they  were,  in  fact,  subsequently  conceded 
one  after  another,  '  not  from  terror,  but  because,  on 
4  seriously  looking  at  the  case,  it  was  found  that  after  all 
1  we  had  no  possible  interest  in  withholding  them.' J  But 
at  the  time  it  was  necessary  to  put  down  the  rebels  by 
force,  and  to  establish  military  government.  In  1838 

Lord  Lord  Durham  was  sent  out  as  High  Commissioner  for 
the  Adjustment  of  the  Affairs  of  the  Colony,  and  his 
celebrated  4  Report '  sowed  the  seeds  of  all  the  beneficial 
changes  which  followed.  So  early  as  October  1839,  when 

s°denham  P°ulett  Thomson,  afterwards  Lord  Sydenham,  went 
out  as  Governor,  Lprd  John  Russell  took  the  first  step 
towards  the  introduction  of  'responsible  government/ 
by  announcing  that  the  principal  offices  of  the  colony 
4  would  not  be  considered  as  being  held  by  a  tenure 
4  equivalent  to  one  during  good  behaviour,  but  that  the 
4  holders  would  be  liable  to  be  called  upon  to  retire 
4  whenever,  from  motives  of  public  policy  or  for  other 
4  reasons,  this  should  be  found  expedient.'2  But  the  in- 
surrection Was  then  too  recent  to  allow  of  constitutional 
government  being  established,  at  least  in  Lower  Canada; 
and,  after  the  Union  in  1840,  Lord  Sydenham  exercised, 
|  partly  owing  to  his  great  ability,  much  more  power 
'  than  is  usually  enjoyed  by  constitutional  governors. 
He  exercised  it,  however,  in  such  a  manner  as  to  pave 
the  way  for  a  freer  system,  which  was  carried  out  to  a 

Sir  c.  great  extent  by  his  successor,  Sir  Charles  Bagot  ;  who, 
though  bearing  the  reputation  of  an  old-fashioned  Tory, 
did  not  scruple  to  admit  to  his  counsels  persons'who 
had  been  active  in  opposing  the  Crown  during  the  re- 
cent rebellion ;  acting  on  4  the  broad  principle  that  the 
4  constitutional  majority  had  the  right  to  rule  under  the 

1  Our   Colonies:    an  Address   de-  John  Russell?  s  Administration,  by  Earl 
livered  to  the  members  of  the  Me-  Grey :  a  work  in  which  the  records 
chanics'  Institute,  Chester,  Nov.  12,  of  a  most  important  period  of  colonial 
1855,  by   the   Right  Hon.  W.    E.  history  are  traced  with  equal  ability 
Gladstone,  M.P.  and  authority. 

2  See  the  Colonial  Policy  of  Lord 


1847.  STATE   OF   THE   COLONY.  33 

c  constitution.' 1    Towards  the  end  of  1842,  Sir  C.  Bagot 
found  himself  obliged  by  continued  ill-health  to  resign  ; 
and  he  was  succeeded  by  Lord  Metcalfe — a  man,  as  has  *Lord 
been  before  noticed,  of  singularly  popular  manners  and  |lvretcalfe- 
conciliatory  disposition,  but  whose  views  of  government, 
formed  in  India  and  confirmed  in  Jamaica,  little  fitted  him 
to  deal  at  an  advanced  age  with  the  novel  questions  pre- 
sented by  Canada  at  this  crisis.    A  quarrel  arose  between  , 
him  and  his  Ministry  on  a  question  of  patronage.     The  j 
ministers  resigned,  though  supported  by  a  large  ma- 
jority  in   the    Assembly.      With    great    difficulty   he 
formed  a  Conservative  administration,  and  immediately 
dissolved  his  Parliament.     The   new  elections  gave  a 
small  majority  to  the  Conservatives,  chieifly  due,  it  was 
said,  to  the  exertion  of  his  personal  influence  ;  but  the 
success  was  purchased  at  a  ruinous  cost,   for  he  was 
now  in  the  position,  fatal  to  a  governor,   of  a  party 
man.     Even  from  this  situation  he  might  perhaps  have 
been  able  to  extricate  himself :  so  great  was  the  respect 
felt  for  his  rare  qualities  of  mind  and  character.     But 
a  distressing  malady  almost  incapacitated  him  for  the 
discharge  of  public  business,  and  at  length,  in  Novem- 
ber 1845,  forced  him  to  resign.     At  this  time  there 
was   some  apprehension   of  difficulties   with  America, 
arising  from  the  Oregon  question,  and,  in  view  of  the 
possibility  of  war,  Mr.  Gladstone,  who  was  then  at  the 
Colonial  Office,  appointed  Lord  Cathcart,  the  commander  /£ord  Cath- 
of  the  forces,  to  be  Governor  -  G  ener  alT 

When  the  Whig  party  came  into  power,  and  Lord 
Grey  became  Secretary  for  the  Colonies,  the  Oregon 
difficulty  had  been  happily  settled,  and  it  was  no  longer 
necessary  or  desirable  that  the  colony  should  be  go- 
verned by  a  military  officer.  What  was  wanted  was 
'  a  person  possessing  an  intimate  knowledge  of  the  prin- 
1  ciples  and  practice  of  the  constitution  of  England,  some 
4  experience  of  popular  assemblies,  and  considerable 

1  MacMullen's  History  of  Canada,  p.  497 



CH.  III. 



c  familiarity  with  the  political  questions  of  the  day.'1 
After  much  consideration  it  was  decided  to  offer  the 
post  to  Lord  Elgin,  though  personally  unknown  at  the 
time  both  to  the  Premier  and  to  the  Secretary  for  the 

principles     yThe  principles   on  which  Lord  Elgin  undertook  to 
|conduct  the  affairs  of  the  colony  were,  that  he  should 
identify  himself  with  no  party,  but   make   himself  a 
mediator  and  moderator  between  the  influential  of  all 
parties  ;  that  he  should  hayeDO  ministers  who  did  not 
enjoy  the^conSSence  of  the  Assembly,  or,  in  the  last 
resort,  of  the  people  ;   and  that  he  should  not  refuse 
his  consent  to  any  measure  proposed  by  his  Ministry, 
unless  it  were  of  an  extreme  party  character,  such  as 
the  Assembly  or  the  people  would  be  sure  to  disap- 
prove.1    Happily  these  principles  were  not,  in   Lord 
Elgin's  case,  of  yesterday's   growth.     He   had   acted 
pon  them,  as  far  as  was  possible,  even  in  Jamaica  ; 
d   in   their  soundness    as   applied   to  a  colony  like 
anada  he  had  that  firm  faith,  grounded  on  original 
on,    which   alone  could   have  enabled   him   to 
aintain  them,  as  he  afterwards  did,  single-handed,  in 
of  the   most   violent  opposition,  and  in  circum- 
tances  by  which  they  were  most  severely  tested  J 

It  was  fortunate  that  Lord  Elgin  had  arranged  to 
leave  his  bride  in  England,  to  follow  at  a  less  inclement 
season  ;  for  he  had  an  unusually  stormy  passage  across 
the  Atlantic  —  c  the  worst  passage  the  ship  had  ever  made.7 
Writing  on  the  16th  of  January  to  Lady  Grey  he  says  : 

Hitherto  we  have  had  a  very  boisterous  passage.  On  the 
13th  we  had  a  hurricane,  and  were  obliged  to  lie  to  _  a  rare 
occurrence  with  these  vessels.  It  was  almost  impossible  to 
be  on  deck,  but  I  crept  out  of  a  hole  for  a  short  time,  to 
behold  the  sea,  which  was  truly  grand  in  its  wrath;  the 
waves  rolling  mountains  high,  and  the  wind  sweeping  the'  foam 
off  their  crests,  and  driving  it,  together  with  the  snow  and 

1  Lord  Grey's  Colonial  Policy,  &c.,  i.  207. 


1847.  FIRST   IMPRESSIONS.  35 

sleet,  almost  horizontally  over  the  ocean.     We  lay  thus  for  ! 
some  hours,  our  masts  covered  with  snow,  pitching  and  tossing, 
now  in  the  trough  of  the  sea,  and  now  on  the  summit  of  the 
billows,  without  anxiety  or  alarm,  so  gallantly  did  our  craft 
bear  itself  through  these  perils. 

The  ship  is  very  full,  with  half  a  million  of  specie,  and  a 
motley  group  of  passengers  :  a  Bishop,  an  ex-secretary  of 
Legation  and  an  ex-consul,  both  of  the  United  States ;  a 
batch  of  Germans  and  of  Frenchmen ;  a  host  of  Yankees,  the 
greater  part  being  bearded,  which  is,  I  understand,  charac- 
teristic of  young  America,  particularly  when  it  travels ;  some 
specimens  of  Nova  Scotia,  New  Brunswick,  Canada,  and  the 
Rocky  Mountains,  not  to  mention  English  and  Scotch.  Every 
now  and  then,  at  the  most  serious  moments,  sounds  of  up- 
roarious mirth  proceed  from  a  party  of  Irish,  who  are  playing 
antics  in  some  corner  of  the  ship.  Considering  that  we  are 
all  hemmed  in  within  the  space  of  a  few  feet,  and  that  it  is  the 
amusement  of  the  great  restless  ocean  to  pitch  us  constantly 
into  each  other's  arms,  it  is  hard  indeed  if  we  do  not  pick  up 
something  new  in  the  scramble. 

On  the  25th  of  January  he  landed  at  Boston,  and  pro-  First  im- 
ceeding  next  day  by  railway  and  sleigh,  reached  Mon-  prej 
treal  on  the  29th.    On  the  31st  he  wrote  from  Monklands, 
the  suburban  residence  of  the  governor,  to  Lady  Elgin: — 

Yesterday  was  my  great  day.  I  agreed  to  make  my 
entrance  to  Montreal,  for  the  purpose  of  being  inaugurated. 
The  morning  was  unpropitious.  There  had  been  a  tremendous 
storm  during  the  night,  and  the  snow  had  drifted  so  much  that 
it  seemed  doubtful  whether  a  sleigh  could  go  from  hence  to 
town  (about  four  miles).  I  said  that  I  had  no  notion  of  being 
deterred  by  weather.  Accordingly,  I  got  into  a  one-horse 
sleigh,  with  very  small  runners,  which  conveyed  me  to  the 
entrance  of  the  town,  where  I  was  met  by  the  Mayor  and 
Corporation  with  an  address.  I  then  got  into  Lord  'Cathcart's 
carriage,  accompanied  by  the  Mayor,  and  a  long  procession  of 
carriages  was  formed.  We  drove  slowly  to  the  Government 
House  (in  the  town),  through  a  dense  mass  of  people — all  the 
societies,  trades,  &c.,  with  their  banners.  Nothing  could  be 
more  gratifying.  After  the  swearing  in,  at  which  the  public 
were  present,  the  Mayor  read  another  address  from  the  inhabit- 

D  2 

36  CANADA.  CH.  III. 

ants.     To  this  I  delivered  a  reply,  which  produced,  I  think,  a 
|  considerable  effect,  and  no  little  astonishment  on  some  gentle- 
fff  \  men  who  intended  that  I  should  say  nothing.     JJi&ma^op^ 
\  \>  frankly  and  unequivocally  Lord  Durham's  view  of  government— 

and  I  think  that  I  have  done  all  that  could  be  done  to  prevent 
/   its  being  perverted  to  vile  purposes  of  faction.  ^\ 

f  Various  circumstances  combined  to  smooth,  for  the 
time,  the  waters  on  which  Lord  Elgin  had  embarked. 
The  state  of  political  parties  was  favourable  ;  for  the 
old  Tories  of  the  British  c  Family  Compact '  party  were 
in  good  humour,  being  in  enjoyment  of  the  powers  to 
which  they  claimed  a  prescriptive  right,  while  the 
4  Liberals  '  of  the  Opposition  were  full  of  hope  that  the 
removal  of  Lord  Metcalfe's  disturbing  influence  would 
restore  their  proper  preponderance.  Something  also 
was  due  to  his  own  personal  qualities.  Whereas  most 
of  his  immediate  predecessors  had  been  men  advanced  in 
years  and  enfeebled  by  ill-heath,  he  was  in  the  full 
enjoyment  of  vigorous  youth — able,  if  need  were,  to 
work  whole  days  at  a  stretch  ;  to  force  his  way  through 
a  Canadian  snow-storm,  if  his  presence  was  required 
at  a  public  meeting ;  to  make  long  and  rapid  journeys 
through  the  province,  ever  ready  to  receive  an  ad- 
dress, and  give  an  impromptu  reply.  The  papers  soon 
began  to  remark  on  the  'geniality  and  affability  of 
4  his  demeanour.'  '  He  is  daily,'  they  said,  c  making  new 
'  friends.  He  walks  to  church,  attends  public  meetings, 
'leads  the  cheering,  and  is,  in  fact,  a  man  of  the  people.' 
Before  long  it  was  added,  '  Our  new  governor  is 
'  the  most  effective  speaker  in  the  province ; '  and, 
thanks  to  his  foreign  education,  he  was  able  to  speak 
as  readily  and  fluently  to  the  French  Canadians  in 
French  as  to  the  English  in  English.  Added  to  this, 
his  recent  marriage  was  a  passport  to  the  hearts  of 
many  in  Canada,  who  looked  back  to  the  late  Lord 
Durham  as  the  apostle  of  their  liberties,  if  not  as  a 
martyr  in  their  cause. \ 


mut  though  the  surface  was  smooth,  there  was  much 
beneath  to  disquiet  an  observant  governor.     It  was  not  po  ] 
only  that  the  Ministry  was  so  weak,  and  so  conscious 
of  its  weakness,  as  to  be  incapable  even  of  proposing  any 
measures  of  importance.     This  evil  might  be  remedied 
by  a  change  of  administration.     But  there  was  no  reaTT^ 
political  life  ;  only  that  pale  and  distorted  reflection  of  it  3 
which  is  apt  to  exist  in  a  colony  before  it  has  learned  * 
4  to  look  within  itself  for  the  centre  of  power.'     Parties    f 
formed  themselves,  not  on  broad  issues  ofjDrjnciple,  but/  | 
with  reference  to  petty  local  and  personal  interests  ;  and 
when  they  sought  the  support  of  a  more  widespread    L- 
sentiment,  they  fell  back  on  those  antipathies  of  race, 
which  it  was  the  main  object  of  every  wise  Governor  to  j 

The  following  extracts  from  private  letters  to  Lord 
Grey,  written  within  a  few  months  of  his  arrival,  reflect 
this  state  of  things.  Though  the  circumstances  to 
which  they  refer  are  past  and  gone,  they  may  not  be 
without  interest,  as  affording  an  insight  into  a  common 
phase  of  colonial  government. 

Hitherto  things  have  gone  on  well  with  me,  much  better 
than  I  hoped  for  when  we  parted.  I  should  have  been  very- 
willing  to  meet  the  Assembly  at  once,  and  throw  myself  with 
useful  measures  on  the  good  sense  of  the  people,  but  my  min- 
isters are  too  weak  for  this.  ^jTThey  seem  to  be  impressed  with 
the  belief  that  the  regular  Opposition  will  of  course  resist  what- 
ever they  propose,  and  that  any  fragments  of  their  own  side, 
who  happen  not  to  be  able  at  the  moment  to  get  what  they 
want,  will  join  them.  When  I  advise  them,  therefore,  to  go 
down  to  Parliament  with  good  measures  and  the  prestige  of  a 
new  Governor,  and  rely  on  the  support  of  public  opinion,  they 
smile  and  shake  their  heads.  It  is  clear  that  they  are  not  very- 
credulous  of  the  existence  of  such  a  controlling  power,  and  that 
their  faith  in  the  efficiency  of  appeals  to  selfish  and  sordid!' 
motives  is  greater  than  mine.  J 

Nevertheless,  we  must  take  the  world  as  we  find  it,  and  if 
new  elements  of  strength  are  required  to  enable  the  Govern- 

38  CANADA.  •    CH.  III. 

Iment  to  go  on/it  is  I  think  very  advisable  to  give  the  French!  | 
a  fair  opportunity  of  entering  the  Ministry  in  the  first  instance.!  , 
It  is  also  more  prudent  to  enter  upon  these  delicate  negotiant 
tions  cautiously  and  slowly,  in  order  to  avoid,  if  possible,  giving 
the  impression  that  I  am  ready  to  jump  down   everybody's 
throat  the  moment  I  touch  the  soil  of  Canada. 
I          ft  believe  that  the  problem  of  how  to  govern  United  Canada 
.  would  be  solved  if  the  French  would  split  into  a  Liberal  and  a] 
I  Conservative  party,  and  join  the  Upper  Canada  parties  which 
bear  corresponding  names.     The  great  difficulty  hitherto  has 
been  that  a  Conservative  government  has  meant  a  government 
of  Upper  Canadians,  which  is  intolerable  to  the  French,  and 
a  Radical  government  a  government  of  French,  which  is  no  less 
hateful  to   the  British.     No  doubt  the  party  titles  are  mis- 
nomers, for  the  radical  party  comprises  the  political  section  most  • 
averse  to  progress  of  any  in  the  country.     Nevertheless,  so  it 
has  been  hitheFto.     The  national  element  would  be  merged  in 
the  political  if  the  split  to  which  I  refer  were  accomplished .\ 

The  tottering  Ministry  attempted  to  strengthen  its 
position  by  a  junction  with  some  of  the  leaders  of  the 
4  French  '  party  ;  but  the  attempt  was  unsuccessful : 

I  cannot  say  that  I  am  surprised  or  disheartened  by  the  re- 
sult of  these  negotiations  with  the  French.  In  a  community 
like  this,  where  there  is  little,  if  anything,  of  public  principle 
to  divide  men,  political  parties  will  shape  themselves  under  the 
influence  of  circumstances,  and  of  a  great  variety  of  affections 
and  antipathies,  national,  sectarian,  and  personal ;  and  I  never 
proposed  ^to  attempt  to  force  them  into  a  mould  of  my  own 

|  C^°U  wil1  observe  tnat  no  question  of  principle  or  of  public 
|  policy  has   been   mooted  by  either   party   during   the   nego- 
'  tiation.     The   whole    discussion    bas_  turned., jopon    personal 
considerations.     This   is,    I    fancy,    a   pretty   fair  sample    of 
Canadian  politics.     It  is  not  even  pretended  that  the  divisions 
of  party  represent  corresponding  divisions   of   sentiment   on 
questions  which  occupy  the  public  mind  ;  such  as  Voluntary- 
ism,  Free   Trade,  &c.,  &c.      Responsible   gpj^e£mnentjs_j;he 
°J!fcjadi^  The 

opponents  of  the   Administration  are  supposed  to  dissent  from 
the  views  held  by  Lord  Metcalfe  upon  it,  though  it  is  not  so) 


fclear  that  its  supporters   altogether  adopt  them.     That  this 
delicate  and  most  debatable  subject  should  furnish  the  watch-./'7 
words  of  party  is  most  inconvenient.! 

In  enumerating  the  difficulties  which  surround  such  questions 
as  Union  of  the  provinces,  Emigration,  &c.,  you  omit  the 
greatest  of  them  all ;  viz. :  the  materials  with  which  I  have  to 
work  in  carrying  out  any  measures  for  the  public  advantage. 
There  are  half  a  dozen  parties  here,  standing  on  no  principles, 

d  all  intent  on  making  political  capital  out  of  whatever  turns 
jp.  It  is  exceedingly  difficult,  under  such  circumstances,  to 
induce  public  men  to  run  the  risk  of  adopting  any  scheme  that 
is  bold  or  novel. 

Keenly  alive  to  the  evil  of  this  state  of  things,  Lord 
Elgin  was  not  less  sensible  that  the  blame  of  it  did  not 
rest  with  the  existing  generation  of  Canadian  politicians, 
but  that  it  was  the  result  of  a  variety  of  circumstances 
some  of  which  it  was  impossible  to  regret. 

Several  causes  (he  wrote)  co-operate  together  to  give  to 
personal  and  party  interests  the  overweening  importance  which 
attaches  to  them  in  the  estimation  of  local  politicians.  There  are 
no  real  grievances  here  to  stir  the  depths  of  the  popular  mind, 
We  are  a  comfortable  people,  with  plenty  to  eat  and  drink,  no 
privileged  classes  to  excite  envy,  or  taxes  to  produce  irritation. 
It  were  ungrateful  to  view  these  blessings  with  regret,  and  yet 
I  believe  that  they  account  in  some  measure  for  the  selfishness 
of  public  men  and  their  indifference  to  the  higher  aims  of 

The  comparatively  small  number  of  members  of  which  the 
popular  bodies  who  determine  the  fate  of  provincial  adminis- 
trations consist,  is  also,  I  am  inclined  to  think,  unfavourable 
to  the  existence  of  a  high  order  of  principle  and  feeling  among 
official  personages.  A  majority  of  ten  in  an  assembly  of  seventy 
may  probably  be,  according  to  Cocker,  equivalent  to  a  majority 
of  100  in  an  assembly  of  700.  In  practice,  however,  it  is  far 
otherwise.  The  defection  of  two  or  three  individuals  from  the 
majority  of  ten  puts  the  administration  in  peril.  Thence  the 
perpetual  patchwork  and  trafficking  to  secure  this  vote  and 
that,  which  (not  to  mention  other  evils)  so  engrosses  the  time 
and  thoughts  of  ministers,  that  they  have  not  leisure  for  matters 
of  greater  moment.  It  must  also  be  remembered  that  it  is 



CH.  HI. 


I  only  of  late  that  the  popular  assemblies  in  this  part  of  the 
^  world  have  acquired  the  right  of  determining  who  shall  govern 
'••   them — of  insisting,  as  we  phrase  it,  that  the  administration  of 
affairs  shall  be  conducted  by  persons  enjoying  their  confidence. 
It  is  not  wonderful  that  a  privilege  of  this  kind  should  be  ex- 
ercised at  first  with  some  degree  of  recklessness,  and  that, 
while  no  great  principles  of  policy  are  at  stake,  methods  of  a 
more  questionable  character  for  winning  and  retaining  the^son- 
Eespon-  ^/'fidence  of  these  arbiters  of  destiny  should  be  resorted  to. 
sibie  go-      course  in  these  circumstances  is,  I  think,  clear  and  plain. 

?nt    may  be  somewhat  difficult  to  follow  occasionally,  but  I  feel  no 
doubt  as  to  the  direction  in  which  it  lies.     I  give  to  my 
ers  all  constitutional  support,  frankly  and  without  reserve,  and   ) 
the  benefit  of  the  best  advice  that  I  can  afford  them  in  their! 
difficulties.     In  return  for  this  I  expect  that  they  will,  in  so 
ar  as  it  is  possible  for  them  to  do  so,  carry  out  my  views  for 
he  maintenance  of  the  connexion  with  Great  Britain  and  the 
idvancement  of  the  interests  of  the  province.     On  this 'tacit 
inderstanding  we  have  acted  together  harmoniously  up  to  this 
ime,  although  I  have  never  concealed  from  them  that  I  in- 
:end  to  do  nothing  which  may  prevent  me  from  workin^cordi- 
jilly  with  their  opponents,  if  they  are  forced  upon  meTjrThat 
ministries  and  Oppositions  should  occasionally  change  places,  is 
of  the  very  essence  of  our  constitutional  system,  and  it  is  pro- 
bably the  most  conservative  element  which  it  contains.     By 
subjecting  all  sections  of  politicians  in  their  turn  to  official 
responsibilities,  it  obliges  heated  partisans  to  place  some  re- 
straint on  passion,  and  to  confine  within  the  bounds  of  decency 
the  patriotic  zeal  with  which,  when  out  of  place,  they  are  wont  to 
be  animated.    In  order,  however,  to  secure  these  advantages,  it 
is  indispensable  that  the  head  of  the  Government  should  show 
that  he  has  confidence  in  the  loyalty  of  all  the  influential 
parties  with  which  he  has  to  deal,  and  that  he  should  have  no 
personal  antipathies  to  prevent  him  from  acting  with  leading 

fl  feel   very  strongly  that  a   Governor-General,  by  acting 
upon   these    views    with    tact   and    firmness,   may   hope    to 
t    establish  a  moral  influence  in  the  province  which  will  go  far 
to  compensate  for  the  loss  of  power  consequent  on  the  sur- 
I    render  of  natronage  to  an  executive  responsible  to  the  local 
Parliament)  Until,  however,  the  *""  rations  of  his  office,  under 


our  amended  colonial  constitution,  are  more  clearly  defined — 
until  that  middle  term  which  shall  reconcile  the  faithful  dis- 
charge of  his  responsibility  to  the  Imperial  Government  arid 
the  province  with  the  maintenance  of  the    quasi-monarchical 
relation  in  which  he  now  stands  towards  the  community  over 
which  he  presides,  be  discovered  and  agreed  upon,  he  must  be 
content  to  tread  along  a  path  which  is  somewhat  narrow  and 
slippery,  and  to  find  that  incessant  watchfulness  and  some     // 
dexterity  are  requisite  to  prevent  him  from  falling,  on  the  one  s 
side  into  the  neant  of  mock  sovereignty,  or  on  the  other  into   \s 
the  dirt  and  confusion  of  local  factions. 

Many  of  his  letters  exhibit  the  same  conviction  that 
the  remedy  for  the  evils  which  he  regretted  was  to  be 
found  in  the  principles  of  government  first  asserted  by 
Lord  Durham  ;  but  there  is  a  special  interest  in  the 
expression  of  this  sentiment  when  addressed,  as  in  the 
following  extract,  to  Lord  Durham's  daughter : — 

I  still  adhere  to  my  opinion  that  the  real  and  effectual  vindi-  / 
cation  of  Lord  Durham's  memory  and  proceedings  will  be  the 
success  of  a  Governor- General  of  Canada  who  works  out  his 
views  of  government  fairly.  Depend  upon  it,  if  this  country 
is  governed  for  a  few  years  satisfactorily,  Lord  Durham's  re- 
putation as  a  statesman  will  be  raised  beyond  the  reach  of 
cavil.  I  do  not  indeed  know  whether  I  am  to  be  the  instrument 
to  carry  out  this  work,  or  be  destined,  like  others  who  have 
jj  gone  before  me,  to  break  down  in  the  attempt ;  but  I  am  still 
of  opinion  that  the  thing  may  be  done,  though  it  requires  some 
good-fortune  and  some  qualities  not  of  the  lowest  order.  I 
find  on  my  arrival  here  a  very  weak  Government,  almost  as 
much  abused  by  their  friends  as  by  their  foes,  no  civil  or 
private  secretary,  and  an  immense  quantity  of  arrears  of  busi- 
ness. It  is  possible,  therefore,  that  I  may  not  be  able  to  bear 
up  against  the  difficulties  of  my  situation,  and  that  it  may 
remain  for  some  one  else  to  effect  that  object,  which  many 
reasons  would  render  me  so  desirous  to  achieve. 

With  these  cares,  which  formed  the  groundwork  of  Irish  im- 
the   texture  of  the    Governor's  life,  were  interwoven  misratlon' 
from  time  to  time  interests  of  a  more  temporary  cha- 
racter ;  of  which  the  first  in  date,  as  in  importance, 

.±2  CANADA.  CH.  III. 

was  connected  with(the  flood  of  immigration  consequent 
on  the  Irish  famine  of 1847y 

During  the  course  of  the  season  nearly  100,000  im- 
migrants landed  at  Quebec,  a  large  proportion  of 
whom  were  totally  destitute,  and  must  have  perished 
had  they  not  been  forwarded  at  the  cost  of  the  public. 
Owing  to  various  causes,  contagious  fever  of  a  most 
malignant  character  prevailed  among  them,  to  an  un- 
exampled extent ;  the  number  confined  at  one  time 
in  hospitals  occasionally  approached  10,000 :  and 
though  the  mortality  among  children  was  very  great, 
nearly  1,000  immigrant  orphans  were  left  during  the 
season  at  Montreal,  besides  a  proportionate  number  at 
Grosse  Isle,  Quebec,  Kingston,  Toronto,  and  other  places. 
In  this  manner  'army  after  army  of  sick  and  suf- 
4  fering  people,  fleeing  from  famine  in  their  native  land 
4  to  be  stricken  down  by  death  in  the  valley  of  the  St. 
4  Lawrence,  stopped  in  rapid  succession  at  Grosse  Isle, 
'  and  there  leaving  numbers  of  their  dead  behind,  pushed 
4  upwards  towards  the  lakes,  in  over-crowded  steamers, 
*  to  burthen  the  inhabitants  of  the  western  towns  and 
4  villages.'1 

The  people  of  Canada  exerted  themselves  nobly, 
under  the  direction  of  their  Governor,  to  meet  the 
sudden  call  upon  their  charity  ;  but  he  felt  deeply  for 
the  sufferings  which  it  entailed  upon  the  colony,  and 
he  did  not  fail  to  point  out  to  Lord  Grey  how  severe 

was  the  strain  thus  laid  on  her  loyalty  : 

a  scourge  The  immigration  which  is  now  taking  place  is  a  frightful 
province.  scourge  to  the  province.  Thousands  upon  thousands  of  poor 
wretches  are  coming  here  incapable  of  work,  and  scattering  the 
seeds  of  disease  and  death.  Already  five  or  six  hundred  orphans 
are  accumulated  at  Montreal,  for  whose  sustenance,  until  they 
can  be  put  out  to  service,  provision  must  be  made.  Con- 
siderable panic  exists  among  the  inhabitants.  Political  motives 
contribute  to  swell  the  amount  of  dissatisfaction  produced  by 

1  MacMullen's  History  of  Canada. 

1847.  IRISH  IMMIGRANTS.  43 

this  state  of  things.  The  Opposition  make  the  want  of  adequate 
provision  to  meet  this  overwhelming  calamity,  in  the  shape  of  hos- 
pitals, &c.,  a  matter  of  charge  against  the  Provincial  Administra- 
tion. That  section  of  the  French  who  dislike  British  immigra- 
tion at  all  times,  find,  as  might  be  expected,  in  the  circumstances 
of  this  year,  a  theme  for  copious  declamation.  Persons  who 
cherish  republican  sympathies  ascribe  these  evils  to  our  de- 
pendent condition  as  colonists — ( the  States  of  the  Union,'  they 
say,  '  can  take  care  of  themselves,  and  avert  the  scourge  from 
{ their  shores,  but  we  are  victims  on  whom  inhuman  Irish  land- 
*  lords,  &c.,  can  charge  the  consequences  of  their  neglect  and) 
'  rapacity.'  Meanwhile  I  have  a  very  delicate  and  irksome  duty 
to  discharge.  There  is  a  general  belief  that  Great  Britain 
must  make  good  to  the  province  the  expenses  entailed  on  it  by 
this  visitation.  ( It  is  enough,'  say  the  inhabitants,  ( that  our 
6  houses  should  be  made  a  receptacle  of  this  mass  of  want  and 
6  misery :  it  cannot  surely  be  intended  that  we  are  to  be  mulcted 
e  in  heavy  pecuniary  damages  besides.'  The  reasonableness  of 
these  sentiments  can  hardly  be  questioned — bitter  indignation 
would  be  aroused  by  the  attempt  to  confute  them — and  yet  I 
feel  that  if  I  were  too  freely  to  assent  to  them,  I  might  en- 
courage recklessness,  extravagance,  and  peculation.  From  the 
overwhelming  nature  of  the  calamity,  and  the  large  share  which 
it  has  naturally  occupied  of  the  attention  of  Parliament  and 
of  the  public,  the  task  of  making  arrangements  to  meet  the 
necessities  of  the  case  has  practically  been  withdrawn  from  the 
department  of  the  Civil  Secretary,  and  fallen  into  the  hands  of 
the  Provincial  Administration.  In  assenting  to  the  various 
minutes  which  they  have  passed  for  affording  relief  to  the  sick 
and  destitute,  and  for  guarding  against  the  spread  of  disease,  I 
have  felt  it  to  be  my  duty,  even  at  the  risk  of  incurring  the 
imputation  of  insensibility  to  the  claims  of  distress,  to  urge  the 
necessity  of  economy,  and  of  adopting  all  possible  precautions 
against  waste.  You  will  at  once  perceive,  however,  how  em- 
barrassing my  position  is.  A  source  of  possible  misunderstand- 
ing between  myself  and  the  colonists  is  furnished  by  these  un- 
toward circumstances,  altogether  unconnected  with  the  ordinary, 
or,  as  I  may  perhaps  venture  to  term  them,  normal  difficulties 
of  my  situation. 

On  the  whole,  all  things  considered,  I  think  that  a  great 
deal  of  forbearance  and  good  feeling  has  been  shown  by  the 



CH.  in. 

should  be 
borne  by 


colonists  under  this  trial.  Nothing  can  exceed  the  devotion 
nj^the  nuns  ami  "Roman  Catholic  priests,  and  the  conduct  of 
the  clergy  and  of  many  of  the  laity  of  other  denominations  has 
been  most  exemplary.  Many  lives  have  been  sacrificed  in 
attendance  on  the  sick  and  administering  to  their  temporal 
and  spiritual  need.  But  the  aspect  of  affairs  is  becoming 
more  and  more  alarming.  The  panic  which  prevails  in  Mon- 
treal and  Quebec  is  beginning  to  manifest  itself  in  the 
Upper  Province,  and  farmers  are  unwilling  to  hire  even  the 
healthy  immigrants,  because  it  appears  that  since  the  warm 
weather  set  in,  typhus  has  broken  out  in  many  cases  among 
those  who  were  taken  into  service  at  the  commencement  of  the 
season,  as  being  perfectly  free  from  disease.  I  think  it  most 
important  that  the  Home  Government  should  do  all  in  their 
power  by  enforcing  the  provisions  of  the  Passengers'  Act,  and 
by  causing  these  facts  to  be  widely  circulated,  to  stem  this  tide 
of  misery.  ^ 

What  is  to  be  done  ?  Private  charity  is  exhausted.  In  a 
country  where  pauperism  as  a  normal  condition  of  society  is 
unknown,  you  have  not  local  rates  for  the  relief  of  destitution 
to  fall  back  upon.  Humanity  and  prudence  alike  forbid  that 
they  should  be  left  to  perish  in  the  streets.  The  exigency  of  the 
case  can  manifestly  be  met  only  by  an  expenditure  of  public  funds. 

But  by  whom  is  this  charge  to  be  borne  ?  You  urge,  that 
when  the  first  pressure  is  past,  the  province  will  derive,  in 
various  ways,  advantage  from  this  immigration, — that  the  pro- 
vincial administration,  who  prescribe  the  measures  of  relief, 
have  means,  which  the  Imperial  authorities  have  not,  of  check- 
ing extravagance  and  waste ;  and  you  conclude  that  their  con- 
stituents ought  to  be  saddled  with  at  least  a  portion  of  the 
expense.  I  readily  admit  the  justice  of  the  latter  branch  of 
this  argument,  but  I  am  disposed  to  question  the  force  of  the 
former.  •  The  benefit  which  the  province  will  derive  from  this 
year's  immigration  is,  at  best,  problematical ;  and  it  is  certain 
that  they  who  are  to  profit  by  it  would  willingly  have  re- 
nounced it,  whatever  it  may  be,  on  condition  of  being  relieved 
from  the  evils  by  which  it  has  been  attended.  Of  the  gross 
number  of  immigrants  who  have  reached  the  province,  many 
are  already  mouldering  in  their  graves.  Among  the^urvivors 
there  are  widows  and  orphans,  and  aged  and  diseased  persons, 

1847.  IRISH  IMMIGRANTS.  45 

who  will  probably  be  for  an  indefinite  period  a  burden  on 
Government  or  private  charity.  A  large  proportion  of  the 
healthy  and  prosperous,  who  have  availed  themselves  of  the 
cheap  route  of  the  St.  Lawrence,  will,  I  fear,  find  their  way  to 
the  Western  States,  where  land  is  procurable  on  more  advan- 
tageous terms  than  in  Canada.  To  refer,  therefore,  to  the 
82,000  immigrants  who  have  passed  into  the  States  through 
New  York,  and  been  absorbed  there  without  cost  to  the  mother- 
country,  and  to  contrast  this  circumstance  with  the  heavy  ex- 
pense which  has  attended  the  admission  of  a  smaller  number 
into  Canada,  is  hardly  just.  In  the  first  place,  of  the  82,000 
who  went  to  New  York,  a  much  smaller  proportion  were 
sickly  or  destitute ;  and,  besides,  by  the  laws  of  the  state,  ship- 
owners importing  immigrants  are  required  to  enter  into  bonds, 
which  are  forfeited  when  any  of  the  latter  become  chargeable 
on  the  public.  These,  and  other  precautions  yet  more  strin- 
gent, were  ^nforced  so  soon  as  the  character  of  this  year's 
immigration  was  ascertained,  and  they  had  the  effect  of  turning 
towards  this  quarter  the  tide  of  suffering  which  was  setting  in 
that  direction.  Even  now,  immigrants  attempting  to  cross  the 
frontier  from  Canada  are  sent  back,  if  they  are  either  sickly  or 
paupers.  On  the  whole,  I  fear  that  a  comparison  between  the 
condition  of  this  province  and  that  of  the  states  of  the  neigh- 
bouring republic,  as  affected  by  this  year's  immigration,  would 
be  by  no  means  satisfactory  or  provocative  of  dutiful  and  affec- 
tionate feelings  towards  the  mother-country  on  the  part  of  the 
colonists.  It  is  a  case  in  which,  on  every  account,  I  think  the 
Imperial  Government  is  bound  to  act  liberally. 

Month  after  month,  the  tide  of  misery  flowed  on, 
each  wave  sweeping  deeper  into  the  heart  of  the  pro- 
vince,  and   carrying   off  fresh   victims   of  their   own 
benevolence.      Unfortunately,  just  as  navigation  closed  Lord 
for  the  season,  a  vessel  arrived  full  of  emigrants  from  ston^" 
Lord  Palmerston's  Irish  estates.     They  appear  to  have  tei*ants- 
been  rather  a  favourable  specimen  of  their  class  ;  but 
they    came   late,    and    they   came   from    one    of   Her 
Majesty's  Ministers,  and  their  coming  was  taken  as  a 
sign  thafc  England  and  England's  rulers,  in  their  selfish 
desire  to  be  rid  of  their  starving  and  helpless  poor, 

46  CANADA.  On,  HI. 

cared  nothing  for  the  calamities  they  were  inflicting  on 
the  colony.  Writing  on  November  12,  Lord  Elgin  says : — 

Fever  cases  among  leading  persons  in  the  community  here 
still  continue  to  excite  much  comment  and  alarm.  This  day 
the  Mayor  of  Montreal  died, — a  very  estimable  man,  who  did 
much  for  the  immigrants,  and  to  whose  firmness  and  philan- 
thropy we  chiefly  owe  it,  that  the  immigrant  sheds  here  were 
not  tossed  into  the  river  by  the  people  of  the  town  during  the 
summer.  He  has  fallen  a  victim  to  his  zeal  on  behalf  of  the 
poor  plague-stricken  strangers,  having  died  of  ship-fever  caught 
at  the  sheds.  Colonel  Calvert  is  lying  dangerously  ill  at 
Quebec,  his  life  despaired  of. 

Meanwhile,  great  indignation  is  aroused  by  the  arrival  of 
vessels  from  Ireland,  with  additional  cargoes  of  immigrants, 
some  in  a  very  sickly  state,  after  our  Quarantine  Station  is  shut 
up  for  the  season.  Unfortunately  the  last  arrived  brings  out 
Lord  P aimer ston's  tenants.  I  send  the  commentaries  on  this 
contained  in  this  day's  newspapers.1 

The  flood  From  this  time,  however,  the  waters  began  to  subside. 
The  Irish  famine  had  worked  its  own  sad  cure.  In  com- 
pliance with  the  urgent  representations  of  the  Governor, 
the  mother-country  took  upon  herself  all  the  expenses 
that  had  been  incurred  by  the  colony  on  behalf  of  the 
immigrants  of  1847;  and  improved  regulations  respect- 
ing emigration  offer  ground  for  hope  that  the  fair 
stream,  which  ought  to  be  full  of  life  and  health  both 
to  the  colony  and  to  the  parent  state,  will  not  again  be 
choked  and  polluted,  and  its  plague -stricken  waters 
turned  into  blood. 

In  the  autumn  of  this  year  Lord  Elgin  paid  his  first 
visit  to  Upper  Canada,  meeting  everywhere  with  a 
reception  which  he  felt  to  be  'most  gratifying  and 
'encouraging;'  and  keenly  enjoying  both  the  natural 

1  A  pamphlet  was  published  by  their  <  mercenary  agents ; '  but  it  was 

a  member  of  the  Legislative  Council,  proved  by  satisfactory  evidence  that 

denouncing  this  and  similar  instances  his  main  statements  were  not  founded 

ot  '  horrible  and  heartless  conduct '  in  fact, 
on  the  part  of  landed  proprietors  and 


beauties  of  the  country  and  the  tokens  of  its  prosperity 
which  met  his  view.  From  Niagara  he  wrote  to  Mr. 
Gumming  Bruce  : — 

I  write  with  the  roar  of  the  Niagara  Falls  in  my  ears.  We  Niagara. 
have  come  here  for  a  few  days'  rest,  and  that  I  may  get  rid  of  a 
bad  cold  in  the  presence  of  this  most  stupendous  of  all  the  works 
of  nature.  It  is  hopeless  to  attempt  to  describe  what  so  many 
have  been  describing ;  but  the  effect,  I  think,  surpassed  my  ex- 
pectations. The  day  was  waning  when  we  arrived,  and  a  turn 
of  the  road  brought  us  all  at  once  in  face  of  the  mass  of  water 
forming  the  American  Fall,  and  throwing  itself  over  the  brink 
into  the  abyss.  Then  another  turn  and  we  were  in  presence 
of  the  British  Fall,  over  which  a  still  greater  volume  of  water 
seems  to  be  precipitated,  and  in  the  midst  of  which  a  white 
cloud  of  spray  was  soaring  till  it  rose  far  above  the  summit  of 
the  ledge  and  was  dispersed  by  the  wind.  This  day  we  walked 
as  far  as  the  Table  E-ock  which  overhangs  one  side  of  the 
Horse-shoe  Fall,  and  made  a  closer  acquaintance  with  it ;  but 
intimacy  serves  rather  to  heighten  than  to  diminish  the  effect 
produced  on  the  eye  and  the  ear  by  this  wonderful  phenomenon. 

The  following  to  Lord  Grey  is  of  the  same  date : — 

Our  tour  has  been  thus  far  prosperous  in  all  respects  except 
weather,  which  has  been  by  no  means  favourable.  I  at- 
tended a  great  Agricultural  Meeting  at  Hamilton  last  week, 
and  had  an  opportunity  of  expressing  my  sentiments  at  a 
dinner,  in  the  presence  of  six  or  seven  hundred  substantial 
Upper  Canada  yeomen — a  body  of  men  not  easily  to  be  matched. 

It  is  indeed  a  glorious  country,  and  after  passing,  as  I  have 
done  within  the  last  fortnight,  from  the  citadel  of  Quebec  to 
the  Falls  of  Niagara,  rubbing  shoulders  the  while  with  its  free 
and  perfectly  independent  inhabitants,  one  begins  to  doubt 
whether  it  be  possible  to  acquire  a  sufficient  knowledge  of  man 
or  nature,  or  to  obtain  an  insight  into  the  future  of  nations, 
without  visiting  America. 

A  portion  of  the  speech  to  which  he  refers  in  the 
foregoing  letter  may  be  here  given,  as  a  specimen  of 
his  occasional  addresses,  which  were  very  numerous  ; 
for  though  the  main  purposes  of  his  life  were  such  as 
'  [wrote  themselves  in  action  not  in  word,'  he  regarded 



CH.  m. 

his  faculty  of  ready  and  effective  speaking  as  an 
engine  which  it  was  his  duty  to  use,  whenever  occa- 
sion arose,  for  the  purpose  of  conciliating  or  instruct- 
ing. In  proposing  the  toast  of  4  Prosperity  to  the 
Agricultural  Association  of  Upper  Canada,'  he  said  :— 

Gentlemen,  the  question  forces  itself  upon  every  reflecting 
mind,  How  does  it  come  to  pass  that  the  introduction  of  agri- 
culture, and  of  the  arts  of  civilised  life,  into  this  and  other  parts 
of  the  American  continent  has  been  followed  by  such  astonish- 
ing results  ?  It  may  be  said  that  these  results  are  due  to  the 
qualities  of  the  hardy  and  enterprising  race  by  which  these 
regions  have  been  settled,  and  the  answer  is  undoubtedly  a 
true  one :  but  it  does  not  appear  to  me  to  contain  the  whole 
truth ;  it  does  not  appear  to  account  for  all  the  phenomena. 
Why,  gentlemen,  our  ancestors  had  hearts  as  brave  and  arms 
as  sturdy  as  our  own  ;  but  it  took  them  many  years,  aye,  even 
centuries,  before  they  were  enabled  to  convert  the  forests  of 
the  Druids,  and  the  wild  fastnesses  of  the  Highland  chieftains, 
into  the  green  pastures  of  England  and  the  waving  cornfields 
of  Scotland.  How,  then,  does  it  come  to  pass,  that  the  labours 
of  their  descendants  here  have  been  rewarded  by  a  return  so 
much  more  immediate  and  abundant  ?  I  believe  that  the  true 
solution  of  this  problem  is  to  be  found  in  the  fact  that  here,  for 
the  first  time,  the  appliances  of  an  age,  which  has  been  prolific 
beyond  all  preceding  ages  in  valuable  discoveries,  more  parti- 
cularly in  chemistry  and  mechanics,  have  been  brought  to 
bear,  under  circumstances  peculiarly  favourable,  upon  the  pro- 
ductiveness of  a  new  country.  When  the  nations  of  Europe 
were  young,  science  was  in  its  infancy  ;  the  art  of  civil  go- 
vernment was  imperfectly  understood ;  property  was  inade- 
quately protected;  the  labourer  knew  not  who  would  reap 
what  he  had  sown,  and  the  teeming  earth  yielded  her  produce 
grudgingly  to  the  solicitations  of  an  ill-directed  and  desultory 
cultivation.  It  was  not  till  long  and  painful  experience  had 
taught  the  nations  the  superiority  of  the  arts  of  peace  over 
those  of  war ;  it  was  not  until  the  pressure  of  numbers  upon  the 
means  of  subsistence  had  been  sorely  felt,  that  the  ingenuity 
of  man  was  taxed  to  provide  substitutes  for  those  ineffective 
and  wasteful  methods,  under  which  the  fertility  of  the  virgin 
soil  had  been  well-nigh  exhausted.  But  with  you,  gentleme 

1847.        SPEECH   AT   AN   AGRICULTURAL   MEETING.  49 

it  is  far  otherwise.  Canada  springs  at  once  from  the  cradle 
into  the  full  possession  of  the  privileges  of  manhood.  Canada, 
with  the  bloom  of  youth  yet  upon  her  cheek,  and  with  youth's 
elasticity  in  her  tread,  has  the  advantage  of  all  the  experience 
of  age.  She  may  avail  herself,  not  only  of  the  capital  accu- 
mulated in  older  countries,  but  also  of  those  treasures  of  know- 
ledge which  have  been  gathered  up  by  the  labour  and  re- 
search of  earnest  and  thoughtful  men  throughout  a  series  of 

Now,  gentlemen,  what  is  the  inference  that  I  would  draw 
from  all  this?  What  is  the  moral  I  would  endeavour  to 
impress  upon  you  ?  It  is  this :  That  it  is  yonr  interest  and 
your  duty  to  avail  yourselves  to  the  utmost  of  all  these  un- 
paralleled advantages ;  to  bring  to  bear  upon  this  soil,  so 
richly  endowed  by  nature,  all  the  appliances  of  modern  art ;  to 
refuse,  if  1  may  so  express  myself,  to  convert  your  one  talent 
into  two,  if,  by  a  more  skilful  application  of  the  true  principles 
of  husbandry,  or  by  greater  economy  of  management,  you  can 
convert  it  into  ten.  And  it  is  because  1  believe  that  societies 
like  these,  when  well  directed,  are  calculated  to  aid  you  in 
your  endeavours  to  effect  these  important  objects,  that  I  am 
disposed  to  give  them  all  the  protection  and  countenance, 
which  it  is  in  my  power  to  afford.  They  have  certainly  been 
very  useful  in  other  countries,  and  I  cannot  see  why  they 
should  be  less  serviceable  in  Canada.  The  Highland  Society 
of  Scotland  was  the  first  instituted,  and  the  proud  position 
which  Scotland  enjoys  as  an  agricultural  country  speaks 
volumes  of  the  services  rendered  by  that  society.  The  Royal 
Agricultural  Society  of  England  and  the  Royal  Agricultural 
Society  of  Ireland  followed  in  its  wake,  and  with  similarly 
beneficial  results.  I  myself  was  instrumental  in  establishing 
n  agricultural  society  in  the  West  Indies,  which  has  already 
done  much  to  revive  the  spirits  of  the  planters ;  and  I  shall  be 
very  much  disappointed,  indeed,  if  that  society  does  not  prove 
the  means,  before  many  years  are  past,  of  establishing  the  truth 
so  important  to  humanity,  that,  even  in  tropical  countries,  free 
labour  properly  applied  under  a  good  system  of  husbandry  is 
more  economical  than  the  labour  of  slaves. 

At  the  close  of  1847  the  Canadian  Parliament  was  Change  of 
dissolved.     When   the  new   Parliament    met  early  in  Mmistry* 

50  CANADA.  Cn.  III. 

1848,  the  Ministry  —  Lord  Metcalfe's  Ministry  —  found 
itself  in  a  decided  minority.  £A.  new  one  was  accord- 
ingly formed  from  the  ranks  of  the  opposition,  4  the 
4  members  of  both  parties  concurring  in  expressing  their 
4  sense  of  the  perfect  fairness  and  impartiality  with 
4  which  Lord  Elgin  had  conducted  himself  throughout 
4  the  transactions  '  which  led  to  this  result.1/ 
French  he  French  Canadians,  who  formed  the  chief  element 

in  the  new  government,%vere  even  at  this  time  a 
peculiar  people.  Planted^m  the  days  of  the  old  French 
monarchy,  and  cut  off  by  conquest  from  the  parent 
state  long  before  the  Revolution  of  1789,  their  little 
community  remained  for  many  years  like  a  fragment  or 
boulder  of  a  distinct  formation-  —  an  island  enshrining 
the  picturesque  institutions  of  the  ancien  regime,  in 
the  midst  of  an  ever-encroaching  sea  of  British  nine- 
teenth-century enterprise.  The  English,  it  has  been 
truly  said,  emigrate,  but  do  not  colonise.  No  con- 
course of  atoms  could  be  more  fortuitous  than  the 
gathering  of  '  traders,  sailors,  deserters  from  the  army, 
outcasts,  convicts,  slaves,  democrats,  and  fanatics,'  who 
have  been  the  first,  and  sometimes  the  only  ingredients 
of  society  in  our  so-called  colonies.  French  Canada, 
on  the  contrary,  was  an  organism  complete  in  itself,  a 
little  model  of  mediaeval  France,  with  its  recognised 
gradations  of  ranks,  ecclesiastical  and  social. 

It  may,  indeed,  be  doubted  whether  the  highest 
forms  of  social  life  are  best  propagated  by  this  method  : 
whether  the  freer  system,  which  4  sows  itself  on  every 
wind/  does  not  produce  the  larger,  and,  in  the  long 
run,  the  more  beneficent  results,  But  if  reason  ac- 
quiesces in  the  ultimate  triumph  of  that  busy,  pushing 
energy  which  distinguishes  the  British  settler,  there  is 
something  very  attractive  to  the  imagination  in  the 
picture  presented  by  the  peaceful  community  of  French 
habitans,  living  under  the  gentle  and  congenial  control 

1  Lord  Grey's  Colonial  Policy. 

1848.  CHANGE   OF  MINISTRY.  51 

of  their  coutumes  de  Paris,  with  their  priests  and  their 
seigneurs,  their  frugal,  industrious  habits,  their  amiable 
dispositions  and  simple  pleasures,  and  their  almost 
exaggerated  reverence  for  order  and  authority.  Poli- 
tically speaking,  they  formed  a  most  valuable  element 
in  Canadian  society.  At  one  time,  indeed,  the  restless 
anarchical  spirit  of  the  settlers  around  them,  acting  on 
the  sentiment  of  French  nationality,  instigated  them  to 
the  rebellion  of  1837;  but,  as  a  rule,  their  social  sym- 
pathies were  stronger  than  their  national  antipathies; 
and  gratitude  to  the  Government  which  secured  to 
them  the  enjoyment  of  their  cherished  institutions  kept 
them  true  to  England  on  more  than  one  occasion  when 
her  own  sons  threatened  to  fall  away  from  her* 

By  the  legislative  union  of  1840  the  barriers  which 
had  separated  the  British  and  French  communities 
were,  to  a  great  extent,  broken  down  ;  and  the  various 
elements  in  each  began  gradually  to  seek  out  and  to 
combine  with  those  which  were  congenial  to  them  in 
the  other.  But  there  Were  many  cross  currents  and 
thwarting  influences  ;  and  there  was  great  danger,  as 
Lord  Elgin  felt,  lest  they  should  form  false  combina- 
tions, on  partial  views  of  local  or  personal  interest, 
instead  of  uniting  on  broad  principles  of  social  and 
political  agreement. 

Such  were  the  antecedents  of  the  party  which  now, 
for  the  first  time,  found  itself  admitted  to  the  counsels 
of  the  Governor.  Well  might  he  write  to  Lord  Grey, 
that  c  the  province  was  about  to  pass  through  an  in- 
4  teresting  crisis.'  f He  was  required,  in  obedience  to  his 
own  principles,  toVaccept  as  advisers  persons  who  had 
very  lately  been  denounced  by  the  Secretary  of  State 
as  well  as  by  the  Governor -General,  as  impracticable 
and  disloyal.^  On  the  other  hand  he  reflected,  with 
satisfaction,  tnat  in  these  sentiments  he  himself  had 
neither  overtly  nor  covertly  expressed  concurrence ; 
while  the  most  extravagant  assertors  of.  responsible 

E   2 

52  CANADA.  Cn.  HI. 

government  had  never  accused  him  of  stepping  out  of 
his  constitutional  position.  He  felt,  therefore,  that  the 
onus  probandi  would  rest  on  his  new  councillors  if  they 
could  not  act  with  him,  and  put  forth  pretensions  to 
which  he  was  unable  to  accede.  At  least  he  was  de- 
termined to  give  them  a  fair  trial.  Writing  on  the 
17th  of  March  he  says  :  — 

The  late  Ministers  tendered  their  resignations  in  a  body  on 
Saturday  4th,  immediately  after  the  division  on  the  address, 
which  took  place  on  Friday.  I  received  and  answered  the 
address  on  Tuesday,  and  then  sent  for  Messrs.  Lafontaine 
and  Baldwin.  I  spoke  to  them  in  a  candid  and  friendly  tone  : 
told  them  that  I  thought  there  was  a  fair  prospect,  if  they  ' 
were  moderate  and  firm,  of  forming  an  administration  deserving 
and  enjoying  the  confidence  of  Parliament;  that  they  might 
count  on  all  proper  support  and  assistance  from  me. 

They  dwelt  much  on  difficulties  arising  out  of  pretensions 
advanced  in  various  quarters  ;  which  gave  me  an  opportunity  to 
advise  them  not  to  attach  too  much  importance  to  such  con- 
siderations,  but  to  bring  together  a  council  strong  in  adminis- 
trative talent,  and  to  take  their  stand  on  the  wisdom  of  their 
measures  and  policy.  .  .  . 

JM[  am  not  without  hopes  that  my  position  will  be  improved 
by  the  change  of  administration.  My  present  council  un- 
questionably contains  more  talent,  and  has  a  firmer  hold  on 
the  confidence  of  Parliament  and  of  the  people  than  the  last- 
There  is,  I  think,  moreover,  on  their  part,  a  desire  to  prove, 
by  proper  deference  for  the  authority  of  the  Governor-General 
(which  they  all  admit  has  in  my  case  never  been  abused),  that 
they  were  libelled  when  they  were  accused  of  impracticability 
and  anti-monarchical  tendencies.  / 

tenc  after  this  that  news  reacned 

revolution.  Canada  of  the  revolution  of  February  in  Paris,     On 
receipt  of  it  he  writes  :  — 

It  is  just  as  well  that  I  should  have  arranged  my  Ministry, 
and  committed  the  Flag  of  Britain  to  the  custody  of  those  who 
are  supported  by  the  large  majority  of  the  representatives  and 
constituencies  of  the  province,  before  the  arrival  of  the  as- 
tounding intelligence  from  Europe,  which  reached  us  by  the 

1848.  THE   FRENCH   QUESTION.  53 

last  mail.  There  are  not  wanting  here  persons  who  might, 
under  different  circumstances,  have  attempted,  by  seditious 
harangues  if  not  by  overt  acts,  to  turn  the  example  of  France, 
and  the  sympathies  of  the  United  States,  to  account. 

But  while  congratulating  Lord  Grey  on  having  passed  Three 
satisfactorily  through  a  crisis  which  might,  under  other 
circumstances,  have  been  attended  with  very  serious 
results,  and  on  the  fact  that  '  at  no  period,  during  the 
'  recent  history  of  Canada,  had  the  people  of  the  pro- 
4  vince  generally  been  better  contented,  or  less  disposed 
'  to  quarrel  with  the  mother-country,'  Lord  Elgin  did 
not  disguise  from  himself,  or  from  the  Secretary  of 
State,  that  there  were  ominous  symptoms  of  disaffec- 
tion on  the  part  of  all  the  three  great  sections  of  the 
community,  the  French,  the  Irish,  and  the  British. 

Bear  in  mind  that  one-half  of  our  population  is  of  French 
origin,  and  deeply  imbued  with  French  sympathies ;  that  a 
considerable  portion  of  the  remainder  consists  of  Irish  Catholics ; 
that  a  large  Irish  contingent  on  the  other  side  of  the  border, 
fanatics  on  behalf  of  republicanism  and  repeal,  are  egging  on 
their  compatriots  here  to  rebellion  ;  that  all  have  been  wrought 
upon  until  they  believe  that  the  conduct  of  England  to  Ire- 
land is  only  to  be  paralleled  by  that  of  Russia  to  Poland ; 
that  on  this  exciting  topic,  therefore,  a  kind  of  holy  indig- 
nation mixes  itself  with  more  questionable  impulses  ;  that  Guy 
Fawkes  Papineau,  actuated  by  the  most  malignant  passions, 
irritated  vanity,  disappointed  ambition,  and  national  hatred, 
which  unmerited  favour  has  only  served  to  exasperate,  is 
waving  a  lighted  torch  among  these  combustibles — you  will,  I 
think,  admit,  that  if  we  pass  through  this  crisis  without  ex- 
plosions it  will  be  a  gratifying  circumstance,  and  an  encourage- 
ment to  persevere  in  a  liberal  and  straightforward  application 
of  constitutional  principles  to  Government. 

I  have  peculiar  satisfaction  therefore,  under  all  these  cir- 
cumstances, in  calling  your  attention  to  the  presentment  of 
the  grand  jury  of  Montreal,  which  I  have  sent  you  officially, 
in  which  that  body  adverts  to  the  singularly  tranquil  and  con- 
tented state  of  the  province.1 

1  See  Papers   pres< 
Colonial  Policy,  i.  216. 

resented   to   Parliament,   May,   1848 ;    or  Lord   Grey's 



CH,  III. 


tlse  of  the 


rWith  regard  to  the  French  he  constantly  expressed 
the  conviction  that  nothing  was  wanted  to  secure  the 
loyalty  of  the  vast  majority,  but  a  policy  of  conciliation 
and  confidence.  In  this  spirit  he  urged  the  importance 

I  of  removing  the  restrictions  on  the  use  of  the  French 
language  :5- 

I  am  very  anxious  to  hear  that  you  have  taken  steps  for  the  J 
repeal  of  so  much  of  the  Act  of  Union  as  imposes  restrictions  | 
on  the  use  of  the  French  language.     The  delay  which  has 
taken  place  in  giving  effect  to  the  promise  made,  I  think  by 
Gladstone,  on  this  subject,  is  one  of  the  points  of  which  M.  / 
Papineau  is  availing    himself   for  purposes  of   agitation.     I 
must,  moreover,  confess,  that  I  for  one  am  deeply  convinced  of 
.the  impolicy  of  all  'suclr  attempts  to  denationalise  the  French. 
^Generally  speaking  they  produce  the  opposite  effect  from  that 
I  intended,  causing  the  flame  of  national  prejudice  and  animosity 
I  to  burn  more  fiercely.)   Btrtr  suppose  them  to  be  successful^" 
what  would  be  the  result  ?     You  may  perhaps  Americanize, 
but,  depend  upon  it,  by  methods  of  this  description  you  will 
r  Anglicize  the  French  inhabitants  of  the  province.     Let 
them  feel,  on  the  other  hand,  that  their  religion,  their  habits, 
their  prepossessions,  their  prejudices  if  you  will,  are  more  con- 
sidered and  respected  here  than  in  other  portions  of  this  vast 
continent,  who  will  venture  to  say  that  the  last  hand  which 
waves  the  British  flagon  American  ground  may  not  be  that  of 
a  French  Canadian  ?  J 

In  the  same  spirit,  when  an  association  was  formed 
for  facilitating  the  acquisition  of  crown  lands  by 
.  i  French  habitans,  he  put  himself  at  the  head  of  the 
movement  ;  by  which  means  he  was  able  to  thwart  the 
disloyal  designs  of  the  demagogue  who  had  planned  it. 
You  will  perhaps  recollect  that  some  weeks  ago  I  mentioned 
that  the  Roman  Catholic  bishop  and  priests  of  this  diocese  had 
organised  an  association  for  colonisation  purposes,  their  object 
being  to  prevent  the  sheep  of  their  pasture  (who  now,  strange 
as  it  may  appea'r,  emigrate  annually  in  thousands  to  the  States, 
where  they  become  hewers  of  wood  and  drawers  of  water  to 
the  Yankees,  and  bad  Catholics  into  the  bargain)  from  quitting 
their  fold.  Papineau  pounced  upon  this  association  as  a 


v  ^ 

1848.  THE   FRENCH   QUESTION.  55 

means  of  making  himself  of  importance  in  the  eyes  of  his 
countrymen,  and  of  gratifying  his  ruling  passion  by  abusing 
England.  Accordingly,  at  a  great  meeting  convened  at  Mont- 
real, he  held  forth  for  three  hours  to  the  multitude  (the  bishop 
in  the  chair),  ascribing  this  and  all  other  French-Canadian  ills, 
real  or  supposed,  to  the  selfish  policy  of  Great  Britain,  and 
her  persevering  efforts  to  deprive  them  of  their  nationality  and 
every  other  blessing. 

In  process  of  time,  after  this  rather  questionable  start,  the 
association  waited  on  me  with  a  memorial  requesting  the 
co-operation  of  Government,  M.  Papineau  being  one  of  the 

In  dealing  with  them  I  had  two  courses  to  choose  from.  I 
had  nothing  for  it,  situated  as  I  was,  but  either,  on  the  one 
hand,  to  give  the  promoters  of  the  scheme  a  cold  shoulder, 
point  out  its  objectionable  features,  and  dwell  upon  difficulties 
of  execution — in  which  case  (use  what  tact  I  might)  I  should 
have  dismissed  the  bishop  and  his  friends  discontented,  and 
given  M.  Papineau  an  opportunity  of  asserting  that  I  had 
lent  a  quasi  sanction  to  his  calumnies  ;  or,  on  the  other,  to 
identify  myself  with  the  movement,  put  myself  in  so  far  as 
might  be  at  its  head,  impart  to  it  as  salutary  a  direction  as 
possible,  and  thus  wrest  from  M.  Papineau's  hands  a  potent 
instrument  of  agitation. 

I  was  tempted,  I  confess,  to  prefer  the  latter  of  these 
courses,  not  only  by  reason  of  its  manifest  expediency  as 
bearing  upon  present  political  contests,  but  also  because  I 
sympathise,  to  a  considerable  extent,  with  the  views  of  the  pro^ 
moters  of  the  movement.  No  one  object,  in  my  opinion,  is  so 
important,  whether  you  seek  to  retain  Canada  as  a  colony,  or  to 
fit  her  for  independence  and  make  her  instinct  with  national  life 
and  vigour,  as  the  filling  up  of  her  vacant  lands  with  a  resident 
agricultural  population.  More  especially  is  it  of  moment  that 
the  inhabitants  of  French  origin  should  feel  that  every  facility 
for  settling  on  the  land  of  their  fathers  is  given  them  with  the 
cordial  assent  and  concurrence  of  the  British  Government  and 
its  representative,  and  that  in  the  plans  of  settlement  their 
feelings  and  habits  are  consulted.  The  sentiment  of  French 
Canadian  nationality,  .which  Papineau  endeavours  to  pervert 
to  purposes  of  faction,  may  yet  perhaps,  if  properly  improved, 

56  CANADA.  CH.  III. 

furnish  the  best  remaining  security  against  annexation  to  the 

I  could  not  with  these  views  afford  to  lose  the  opportunity 
of  promoting  this  object,  which  was  presented  by  a  sponta- 
neous movement  of  the  people,  headed  by  the  priesthood — the 
most  powerful  influence  in  Lower  Canada. 

The  official  correspondence  which  has  passed  on  this  subject 
I  hope  to  send  by  the  next  mail,  and  I  need  not  trouble  you 
with  the  detail  of  proceedings  on  my  own  part,  which,  though 
small  in  themselves,  were  not  without  their  effect.  Suffice  it 
to  say,  that  Papineau  has  retired  to  solitude  and  reflection  at 
his  seignory,  *  La  Petite  Nation ' — and  that  the  pastoral  letter, 
of  which  I  enclose  a  copy,  has  been  read  au  prone  in  every 
Roman  Catholic  church  in  the  diocese.  To  those  who  know 
what  have  been  the  real  sentiments  of  the  French  population 
towards  England  for  some  years  past,  the  tone  of  this  docu- 
ment, its  undisguised  preference  for  peaceful  over  quarrelsome 
courses,  the  desire  which  it  manifests  to  place  the  representa- 
^ftive  of  British  rule  forward  as  the  patron  of  a  work  dear  to 
'French-Canadian  hearts,  speaks  volumes. 

With(the  same  object  of  conciliating  the  French  por- 
tion of  the  community) he  lost  no  opportunity  of  mani- 
festing the  personal  interest  which  he  felt  in  their 
institutions.  The  following  letter,  written  in  August 
1848,  to  his  mother  at  Paris,  describes  a  visit  to  one 
of  these  institutions,  the  college  of  St.  Hyacinthe,  the 
chief  French  college  of  Montreal : — 

A  French  I  was  present,  the  other  day,  at  an  examination  of  the 
students  at  one  of  the  Roman  Catholic  Colleges  of  Montreal. 
It  is  altogether  under  the  direction  of  the  priesthood,  and  it  is 
curious  to  observe  the  course  they  steer.  The  young  men 
declaimed  for  some  hours  on  a  theme  proposed  by  the  superior, 
being  a  contrast  between  ancient  and  modern  civilisation. 
The  greater  part  of  it  was  a  sonorous  exposition  of  ultra- 
liberal  principles,  <  Liberte,  Egalite,  Fraternite?  (  Vox  populi, 
vox  Dei,'  a  very  liberal  tribute  to  the  vanity  and  to  the  pre- 
judices of  the  classes  who  might  be  expected  to  send  their 
children  to  the  institution  or  to  puff  it ;  with  an  elaborate 

1848.  THE   IRISH   QUESTION.  57 

pivot  a  la  Lacordaire — that  the  Church  had  achieved  all  that 
had  been  effected  in  this  genre  hitherto.  Au  reste,  there  was 
the  wonderful  mechanism  which  gives  that  church  such 
advantages — the  fourteen  professors  receiving  no  salaries, 
working  for  their  food  and  that  of  the  homeliest ;  as  a  conse- 
quence, an  education,  board  and  lodging  inclusive,  costing  only 
15/.  a  year ;  the  youths  subjected  to  a  constant  discipline 
under  the  eye  of  ecclesiastics  day  and  night.  I  confess,  when 
I  see  both  the  elasticity  and  the  machinery  of  this  church,  my 
wonder  is,  not  with  Lacordaire  that  it  should  do  so  much,  but 
that  it  should  not  do  more. 

f More  formidable  at  all  times  than  any  discontent  on  The  Irish 
the  part  of  the  quiet  and  orderly  French  habitans  was  the  que 
chronic  disaffection  of  the  restless,  roving  Irish  ;  and 
especially  when  connected  with  a  threatened  invasion 
of  American  '  sympathisers.'  \When  such  threats  come 
to  nothing,  it  is  generally  difficult  to  say  whether  they 
were  all  mere  vapouring,  or  whether  they  might  have 
led  to  serious  results,  if  not  promptly  met  ;  but  at  one 
time,  at  least,  there  appears  to  have  been  solid  ground 
for  apprehending  that  real  mischief  was  intended.  On 
the  18th  July,  1848,  Lord  Elgin  writes  :— 

At  the  moment  when  the  last  mail  was  starting  a  placard,  irigh 
calling  an  Irish  repeal,  or  rather  republican,  meeting  was  placed  r.ePub- 
in  my  hands.     I  enclosed  it  in  my  letter  to  you,  and  I  now 
proceed  to  inform  you  how  the  movement  to  which  it  relates 
has  progressed  since  then. 

An  M.P.P.1,  opposed  in  politics  to  the  present  Government, 
waited  on  me  a  few  days  ago  and  told  me,  that  he  had  been 
requested  to  move  a  resolution  at  the  meeting  in  question  by  a 
Mr.  O'Connor,  who  represented  himself  to  be  the  editor  of  a 
newspaper  at  New  York,  and  a  member  of  the  Irish  Republican 
Union.  This  gentleman  informed  him  that  it  was  expected 
that,  before  September,  there  would  be  a  general  rising  in 
Ireland ;  that  the  body  to  which  he  belonged  had  been  insti- 
tuted with  the  view  of  abetting  this  movement ;  that  it  was 
discountenanced  by  the  aristocracy  of  the  States,  but  sup- 

1  I.e.  Member  of  the  Provincial  Parliament. 

58  CANADA.  CH.  HI. 

ported  by  the  great  mass  of  the  people ;  that  funds  were  forth- 
coming in  plenty  ;  that  arms  and  soldiers,  who  might  be  em- 
ployed as  drill  sergeants  in  the  clubs,  were  even  now  passing 
over  week  after  week  to  Ireland ;  that  an  American  general, 
lately  returned  from  Mexico,  was  engaged  to  take  the  com- 
mand when  the  proper  time  came ;  that  they  would  have  from 
700,000  to  800,000  men  in  the  field,  a  force  with  which  Great 
Britain  would  be  altogether  unable  to  cope ;  that  when  the 
English  had  been  expelled,  the  Irish  people  would  be  called  to 
determine,  whether  the  Queen  was  to  be  at  the  head  of  their 
political  system  or  not.  He  added  that  his  visit  to  Canada 
was  connected  with  these  objects ;  that  it  was  desirable  that  a 
diversion  should  be  effected  here  at  the  time  of  the  Irish 
outbreak ;  that  50,000  Irish  were  ready  to  march  into  Canada 
from  the  States  at  a  moment's  notice.  He  further  stated  that 
he  had  called  on  my  informant,  because  he  understood  him  to 
be  a  disappointed  man,  and  ill-disposed  to  the  existing  order 
of  things ;  that  with  respect  to  himself  and  the  thousands  who 
felt  with  him,  there  was  no  sacrifice  they  were  not  ready  to 
make,  if  they  could  humble  England  and  reduce  her  to  a  third- 
rate  power. 

The  place  originally  selected  for  the  monster  meeting, 
according  to  the  Advertisement  which  I  enclose,  was  the  Bon- 
secour  Market,  a  covered  building,  under  the  control  of  the 
corporation.  When  this  was  announced,  however,  the  .Govern- 
ment sent  for  the  mayor  (a  French  Liberal)  and  told  him  that 
they  considered  it  unbecoming  that  he  should  give  the  room 
for  such  a  purpose.  He  accordingly  withdrew  his  permission, 
stating  that  he  had  not  been  before  apprised  of  the  precise 
nature  of  the  assembly.  After  receiving  this  check,  the  leaders 
of  the  movement  fixed  on  an  open  space  near  the  centre  of  the 
town  for  their  gathering. 

It  took  place  last  night,  and  proved  a  complete  failure. 
Not  a  single  individual  of  importance  among  the  Irish  Repeal 
party  was  present.  Some  hundreds  of  persons  attended,  but 
were  speedily  dispersed  by  a  timely  thunder  shower.  O'Connor 
was  violent  enough ;  but  I  have  not  yet  ascertained  that  he 
said  anything  which  would  form  good  material  for  an  indict- 
ment. I  am  of  opinion,  however,  that  proceedings  of  this 
description  on  the  part  of  a  citizen  of  another  country  are  not 
to  be  tolerated;  and,  although  there  is  an  indisposition  in 

1848.  THE   BRITISH   QUESTION.  59 

certain  quarters  to  drive  things  to  an  extremity,  I  think  I  r 
shall  succeed  in  having  him  arrested  unless  he  takes  himself  off  I 

f  B 

But  the  French  question  and  the  Irish  question  were  The 
suhple  and  unimportant  as  compared  with  those  which  question. 
were  raised  by  the  state  of  feeling  recently  created  in 
a  large  and  influential  portion  of  the  British  popula- 
tion, partly  by  political  events,  partly  by  commercial 

causes,  i 

t  ff       1 

I ^IThe^political  party,  which  was  now  in  opposition — the 

>eld  Tory  Loyalists,  who  from  their  long  monopoly  of 
office  and  official  influence  had  acquired  the  title  of 
the  4  Family  Compact' — were  filled  with  wrath  at  seeing  The . 
rebels — for  as  such  they  considered  the  French  leaders  Compact. 
—now  taken  into  the  confidence  of  the  Governor  as 
Ministers  of  the  Crown.  At  the  same  time  many  of 
the  individuals  who  composed  that  party  were  smart- 
ing under  a  sense  of  injury  and  injustice  inflicted  upon 
them  by  the  Home  Government,  and  by  that  party  in 
the  Home  Government  by  whose  policy  their  own 
ascendency  in  the  colony  had,  as  they  considered,  been 
undermined.  Nor  was  it  possible  to  deny  that  there 
was  some  ground  for  their  complaints.  By  the  Canada 
Corn  Act  of  1843  not  only  the  wheat  of  Canada,  but 
also  its  flour,  which  might  be  made  from  American 
wheat,  had  been  admitted  into  England  at  a  nominal 
duty.  The  premium  thus  offered  for  the  grinding  of 
American  wheat  for  the  British  market,  caused  a  great 
amount  of  capital  to  be  invested  in  mills  and  other  ap- 
pliances of  the  flour  trade.  4  But  almost  before  these 
4  arrangements  were  fully  completed,  and  the  newly 
'built  mills  fairly  at  work,  the  [Free- Trade]  Act  of 
4  1846  swept  away  the  advantage  conferred  upon  Canada 
4  in  respect  to  the  corn -trade  with  this  country,  and  thus 
4  brought  upon  the  province  a  frightful  amount  of  loss  to_\v 
4  individuals,  and  a  great  derangement  of  the  Colonial^ I 

60  CANADA.  CH.  III. 

c  finances.' i  Lord  Elgin  felt  deeply  for  the  sufferers,  and 
often  pressed  their  case  on  the  attention  of  the  Secretary 
of  State. 

Discontent  I  do  not  think  that  you  are  blind  to  the  hardships  which 
due  to  Im-  Canada  is  now  enduring ;  but,  I  must  own,  I  doubt  much 
gelation",  whether  you  fully  appreciate  their  magnitude,  or  are  aware  of 
how  directly  they  are  chargeable  on  Imperial  legislation. 
Stanley's  Bill  of  1843  attracted  all  the  produce  of  the  West  to 
the  St.  Lawrence,  and  fixed  all  the  disposable  capital  of  the 
province  in  grinding  mills,  warehouses,  and  forwarding  esta- 
blishments. Peel's  Bill  of  1846  drives  the  whole  of  the 
produce  down  the  New  York  channels  of  communication,  de- 
stroying the  revenue  which  Canada  expected  to  derive  from 
canal  dues,  and  ruining  at  once  mill-owners,  forwarders,  and 
merchants.  The  consequence  is,  that  private  property  is  un- 
saleable in  Canada,  and  not  a  shilling  can  be  raised  on  the 
credit  of  the  province.  We  are  actually  reduced  to  the  dis- 
agreeable necessity  of  paying  all  public  officers,  from  thej 
Governor- General  downwards,  in  debentures,  which  are  not' 
f  exchangeable  at  par.  What  makes  it  more  serious  is,  that  all 
the  prosperity  of  which  Canada  is  thus  robbed  is  transplanted 
to  the'  other  side  of  the  lines,  as  if  to  make  Canadians  feel 
more  bitterly  how  much  kinder  England  is  to  the  children 
who  desert  her,  than  to  those  who  remain  faithful.  For  I  care 
not  whether  you  be  a  Protectionist  or  a  Free-trader,  it  is  the 
inconsistency  of  Imperial  legislation,  and  not  the  adoption  of 
one  policy  rather  than  another,  which  is  the  bane  of  the 
colonies.  I  believe  that  the  conviction  that  they  would  be 
better  off  if  they  were  (  annexed '  is  almost  universal  among 
the  commercial  classes  at  present,  and  the  peaceful  condition 
of  the  province  under  all  the  circumstances  of  the  time  is,  I 
must  confess,  often  a  matter  of  great  astonishment  to  myself. 

How  to  be   fifHis  sympathy,  however,  with  the  sufferings  caused  by 
remedied,    $fe  introduction  of  Free-trade  was  not  accompanied  by 
any  wish  to  return  to  a  Protective  policy.     On  the  con- 
trary, he  felt  that  the  remedy  was  to  be  sought  in  a 
further  development  of  the  Free -trade  principle,  in  the 

1  Lord  Grey's  Colonial  Policy,  i.  the  matter,  for  he  voted  against  the 
220.  Lord  Grey  was  one  of  the  few  Act  of  1843,  in  opposition  to  his 
statesmen  who  were  blameless  in  party. 


repeal  of  the  Navigation  Laws,  which  cramped  the  com- 
merce of  Canada  by  restricting  it  to  British  vessels, 
and  in  a  reciprocal  reduction  of  the  duties  which 
hampered  her  trade  with  the  United  Statesy|  In  this 
sense  he  writes  to  Lord  Grey  : — 

V,I  am  glad  to  see  your  bold  measure  on  the  Navigation  Laws. 
You  have  no  other  course  now  open  to  you  if  you  intend  to 
keep  your  colonies.  You  cannot  halt  between  two  opinions  : 
Free-trade  in  all  things,  or  general  Protection.  There  was 
something  captivating  in  the  project  of  forming  all  the  parts  of 
this  vast  British  empire  into  one  huge  Zollverein,  with  free 
interchange  of  commodities,  and  uniform  duties  against  the 
world  without;  though  perhaps,  without  some  federal  legis- 
lation, it  might  have  been  impossible  to  carry  it  out.  Un- 
doubtedly, under  such  a  system,  the  component  parts  of  the 
empire  would  have  been  united  by  bonds  which  cannot  be 
supplied  under  that  on  which  we  are  now  entering ;  though  it 
may  be  fairly  urged  on  the  other  side,  that  the  variety  of  con- 
flicting interests  which  would,  under  this  arrangement,  have 
been  brought  into  presence  would  have  led  to  collisions  which 
we  may  now  hope  to  escape.  But,  as  it  is,  the  die  is  cast.  As 
regards  these  colonies  you  must  allow  them  to  turn  to  the  best 
possible  account  their  contiguity  to  the  States,  that  they  may 
not  have  cause  for  dissatisfaction  when  they  contrast  their  own 
condition  with  that  of  their  neighbours. 

Another  subject  on  which  I  am  very  solicitous,  is  the  free 
admission  of  Canadian  products  into  the  States.  At  present 
the  Canadian  farmer  gets  less  for  his  wheat  than  his  neigh- 
bour over  the  lines.  This  is  an  unfortunate  state  of  things. 
I  had  a  long  conversation  with  Mr.  Baldwin  about  it  lately, 
and  he  strongly  supports  the  proposition  which  I  ventured  to 
submit  for  your  consideration  about  a  year  ago,  viz.  that  a 
special  treaty  should  be  entered  into  with  the  States,  giving 
them  the  navigation  of  the  St.  Lawrence  jointly  with  our- 
selves, on  condition  that  they  admit  Canadian  produce  duty 
free.  An  arrangement  of  this  description  affecting  internal 
waters  only  might,  I  apprehend,  be  made  (as  in  the  case  of 
Columbia  in  the  Oregon  treaty)  independently  of  the  adjust- 
ment of  questions  touching  the  Navigation  Laws  generally.  I 
confess  that  I  dread  the  effect  of  the  continuance  of  the  pre- 

62  CANADA.  Cn.  IH. 

fsent  state  of  things  on  the  loyalty  of  our  farmers.  Surely  the 
admission  of  the  Americans  into  the  St.  Lawrence  would  be 
a  great  boon  to  them,  and  we  ought  to  exact  a  quid  pro  quo.  J 

He  was  sanguine  enough  to  hope  that  these  measures, 
so  simple  -and  so  obviously  desirable,  might  be  brought 
into  operation  at  once  ;  but  they  were  not  carried  until 
many  years  later,  one  of  them,  as  we  shall  see,  only  by 
aid  of  his  own  personal  exertions  ;  and  his  disappoint- 
ment on  this  score  deepened  the  anxiety  with  which 
he  looked  round  upon  the  difficulties  of  his  position, 
already  described.  On  August  16  he  writes  : — 

The  news  from  Ireland — the  determination  of  Government 
not  to  proceed  with  the  measure  respecting  the  Navigation 
Laws — doubts  as  to  whether  the  American  Congress  will  pass 
the  Reciprocity  of  Trade  Bill — menaces  of  sympathisers  in  the 
States — all  combine  at  present  to  render  our  position  one  of 
considerable  anxiety. 

Firstly,  we  have  the  Irish  Repeal  body.  I  need  not  describe 
them ;  you  may  look  at  home  ;  they  are  here  just  what  they  are 
in  Ireland.  Secondly,  we  have  the  French  population ;  their 
attitude  as  regards  England  and  America  is  that  of  an  armed 
neutrality.  They  do  not  exactly  like  the  Americans,  but  they 
are  the  conquered,  oppressed  subjects  of  England !  To  be  sure 
they  govern  themselves,  pay  no  taxes,  and  some  other  trifles 
of  this  description ;  nevertheless,  they  are  the  victims  of 
British  ego'isme.  Was  not  the  union  of  the  provinces  carried 
without  their  consent,  and  with  a  view  of  subjecting  them  to 
the  British  ?  Papineau,  their  press,  and  other  authorities,  are 
constantly  dinning  this  into  their  ears,  so  no  wonder  they 
jheKeve  it. 

yVjAgain,  our  mercantile  and  commercial  classes  are  thoroughly 
disgusted  and  lukewarm  in  their  allegiance.  You  know 
enough  of  colonies  to  appreciate  the  tendency  which  they 
always  exhibit  to  charge  their  misfortunes  upon  the  mother- 
country,  no  matter  from  what  source  they  flow.  And  indeed 
it  is  easy  to  show  that,  as  matters  now  stand,  the  faithful  sub- 
ject of  Her  Majesty  in  Canada  is  placed  on  a  worse  footing,  as 
regards  trade  with  the  mother-country,  than  the  rebel  '  over  the 
'  lines.'  \\\ 




The  same  man  who,  when  you  canvass  him  at  an  English 
borough  election,  says,  '  Why,  sir,  I  voted  Red  all  my  life,  and 
I  never  got  anything  by  it :  this  time  I  intend  to  vote  Blue,' — 
addresses  you  in  Canada  with  '  I  have  been  all  along  one  of 
'the  steadiest  supporters  of  the  British  Government,  but  really, 
'  if  claims  such  as  mine  are  not  more  thought  of,  I  shall  begin 
( to  consider  whether  other  institutions  are  not  preferable  to 
f  ours.'  What  to  do  under  these  circumstances  of  anxiety  and 
discouragement  is  the  question. 

As  to  any  aggressions  from  without,  I  shall  throw  the  re- 
sponsibility of  repelling  them  upon  Her  Majesty's  troops  in 
the  first  instance.  And  I  shall  be  disappointed,  indeed,  if  the 
military  here  do  not  give  a  very  good  account  of  all  American 
and  Irish  marauders. 

With  respect  to  internal  commotions,  I  should  like  to  devolve 
the  duty  of  quelling  them  as  much  as  possible  upon  the 
citizens.  I  very  much  doubt  whether  any  class  of  them,  how- 
ever great  their  indifference  or  disloyalty,  fancy  the  taste  of 
Celtic  pikes,  or  the  rule  of  Irish  mob  law. 

Happily  the  dangers  which  there  seemed  so  much 
reason  to  apprehend  were  dispelled  by  the  policy  at  once 
firm  and  conciliatory  of  the  Governor:  mainly,  as  he 
himself  was  never  wearied  of  asserting,  owing  to  the 
healthy  and  loyal  feeling  engendered  in  the  province  by 
his  frank  adoption  and  consistent  maintenance  of  Lord 
Durham's  principle  of  responsible  government.  It  was 
one  of  the  occasions,  not  unfrequent  in  Lord  Elgin's 
life,  that  recall  the  words  in  which  Lord  Melbourne 
pronounced  the  crowning  eulogy  of  another  celebrated 
diplomatist : — c  My  Lords,  you  can  never  fully  appre- 
'  ciate  the  merits  of  that  great  man.  You  can  appre- 
'  ciate  the  great  acts  which  he  publicly  performed  ;  but 
'  you  cannot  appreciate,  for  you  cannot  know,  the  great 
'  mischiefs  which  he  unostentatiously  prevented/ 

In  the  course  of  the  discussions  on  the  Repeal  of  the  Navigation 
Navigation  Laws,   to  which  reference  is  made  in  the  Laws' 
foregoing  letters,  an  incident  occurred  which  attracted 
some  attention  at  the  time,  and  which,  as  it  could  not 

64  CANADA.  CH.  III. 

be  explained  then,  ought,  perhaps,  to  be  noticed  in  this 

Lord  George  Bentlnck,  who  led  the  opposition  to  the 
measure,  saw  reason  to  think  that,  in  the  published 
despatches  from  Canada  on  the  subject,  a  letter  had 
been  suppressed  which  would  have  furnished  arguments 
against  the  Government  ;  and,  under  this  impression, 
he  moved  in  the  House  of  Commons  for  '  copies  of  the 
omitted  correspondence.'  The  motion  was  negatived 
without  a  division,  on  Lord  John  Russell's  pointing 
out  that  it  involved  an  imputation  on  the  Governor's 
good  faith ;  but  the  Premier  himself  was  probably  not 
aware  at  the  time,  how  completely  the  mover  was  at 
fault,  as  is  shown  in  the  following  letter  from  Lord 
Elgin  to  Mr.  C.  Bruce,  who,  being  a  member  of  Par- 
liament and  a  strong  Protectionist,  had  a  double  interest 
in  the  matter : — 

You  ask  me  about  this  mare's  nest  of  Bentinck.  The  facts 
are  these :  the  Montreal  Board  of  Trade  drew  up  a  memorial 
for  the  House  of  Commons  against  the  Navigation  Laws,  con- 
taining inter  alia  a  very  distinct  threat  of  separation  in  the 
event  of  their  non-repeal.  My  secretary  (not  my  private 

|  secretary,  mark,  but  my  responsible  Government  Secretary) 
sent  me  a  draft  of  a  letter  to  the  Board  containing  very  loyal 
and  proper  sentiments  on  this  head.  I  approved  of  the  letter, 
and  sent  a  copy  of  it  home  with  the  memorial,  instead  of  a 
report  by  myself,  partly  because  it  saved  me  trouble,  and 
partly  because  I  was  glad  to  show  how  perfectly  my 
liberal  government  had  expressed  themselves  on  the  point. 
Two  or  three  weeks  later,  the  Board  of  Trade,  not  liking 

(Mr.  Sullivan  to  have  the  last  word,  wrote  an  answer, 
simply  justifying  what  they  had  already  stated  in  their 
memorial,  which  had  already  gone  with  my  comment  upon  it 
to  be  laid  before  the  House  of  Commons.  To  send  such  a 
letter  home  in  a,  separate  despatch  would  have  seemed  to  me 
worse  than  absurd,  because  it  would  really  have  been  giving 
to  this  unseemly  menace  a  degree  of  importance  which  it  did 
not  deserve.  If  I  had  sent  it  I  must  have  accompanied  it 
with  a  statement  to  the  effect,  that  my  sentiments  on  the  point 

1848.  SPEECH   ON   EDUCATION.  65 

communicated  in  my  former  letter  remained  unchanged ;  so 
the  matter  would  have  rested  pretty  much  where  it  did  before. 
Bentinck  seems  to  suppose  that,  in  keeping  back  a  letter  which 
stated  that  Canada  would  separate  if  the  Navigation  Laws  were 
not  repealed,  I  intended  by  some  very  ingenious  dodge  to 
hasten  their  repeal !  l 

At  the  beginning  of  the  winter  season  of  1848-9,  Speech  on 
Lord  Elgin  was  present,  as  patron,  at  a  meeting  of  the  * 
Montreal  Mercantile  Library  Association,  to  open  the 
winter's  course  of  lectures.  It  was  an  association 
mainly  founded  by  leading  merchants,  4  with  a  view  of 
4  affording  to  the  junior  members  of  the  mercantile  body 
'  opportunities  of  self- improvement,  and  inducements 
4  sufficiently  powerful  to  enable  them  to  resist  those 
4  temptations  to  idleness  and  dissipation  which  unhappily 
4  abound  in  all  large  communities.'  He  took  the  oppor- 
tunity of  delivering  his  views  on  the  subject  of  educa- 
tion in  a  speech,  parts  of  which  may  still  be  read  with 
interest,  after  all  that  has  been  spoken  and  written  on 
this  fertile  topic.  It  has  at  least  the  merit  of  being 
eminently  characteristic  of  the  speaker,  whose  whole 
life  was  an  illustration,  in  the  eyes  of  those  who  knew 
him  best,  of  the  truths  which  he  sought  to  inculcate  on 
the  young  merchants  of  Montreal.2 

After  remarking  that  it  was  vain  for  him  to  attempt, 
in  a  cursory  address,  to  fan  the  fervour  of  his  hearers' 

1  The  personal  annoyance  which  '  wouldbe  an  admirable  te^t  on  which 
he  felt  on  this  occasion  was  only  a  '  to  engraft  ideas  of  permanent  value 
phase  of  the  indignation  which  was  '  on  this  most  important  question;' 
often  roused  in  him,  by  seeing  the  as  helping  to  show  'that  to  reduce 
interests  and  feelings  of  the  colony  '  education  to  stuffing  the  mind  with 
made  the  sport  of  party-speakers  and  '  facts  is  to  dwarf  the  intelligence,  and 
party-writers    at    home  ;    and    im~  '  to  reverse  the  natural  process  of  the 
portant  transactions  in  the  province  '  growth  of  man's  mind :    that   the 
distorted  and  misrepresented,  so  as  'knowledge  of  principles;asthemeans 
to  afford  ground  for  an  attack,  in  the  'of  discrimination,  and  the  criterion 
British  Parliament,  on  an  obnoxious  '  of    those  individual   appreciations 
Minister. —  Vide,  Infra,  p.  113.  'which  are  fallaciously  called  facts, 

2  'A    knowledge/   wrote   Sir    F.  'ought  to  be  the  end  of  high  edu- 
Bruce,  'of  what  he  \vas,  and  of  the  'cation.' 

'  results  he  in  consequence  achieved, 

(56  CANADA.  CH.  III. 

zeal,  or  throw  light  on  subjects  which  they  were  in  the 
habit  of  hearing  so  effectively  treated, 

Indeed  (he  continued)  I  should  almost  be  tempted  to  affirm 
that  in  an  age  when  education  is  so  generally  diffused — when 
the  art  of  printing  has  brought  the  sources  of  information  so 
near  to  the  lips  of  all  who  thirst  for  understanding — when  so 
many  of  the  secrets  of  nature  have  been  revealed — when  the 
impalpable  and  all-pervading  electricity,  and  the  infinite  elas- 
ticity of  steam,  have  been  made  subservient  to  purposes  of 
human  utility, — the  advantages  of  knowledge,  in  an  utilitarian 
point  of  view,  the  utter  hopelessness  of  a  successful  attempt 
on  the  part  either  of  individuals  or  classes  to  maintain  their 
position  in  society  if  they  neglect  the  means  of  self-improve- 
ment, are  truths  too  obvious  to  call  for  elucidation.  I  must 
say  that  it  seems  to  me  that  there  is  less  risk,  therefore,  of  our 
declining  to  avail  ourselves  of  our  opportunities  than  there  is 
of  our  misusing  or  abusing  them  ;  that  there  is  less  likelihood 
of  our  refusing  to  grasp  the  treasures  spread  out  before  us, 
than  of  our  laying  upon  them  rash  and  irreverent  hands,  and 
neglecting  to  cultivate  those  habits  of  patient  investigation, 
humility,  and  moral  self-control,  without  which  we  have  no 
sufficient  security  that  even  the  possession  of  knowledge  itself 
will  be  a  blessing  to  us.  I  was  much  struck  by  a  passage  I 
met  with  the  other  day  in  reading  the  life  of  one  of  the  greatest 
men  of  his  age  and  country — Watt — which  seemed  to  me  to 
illustrate  very  forcibly  the  nature  of  the  danger  to  which  I 
am  now  referring  as  well  as  its  remedy.  It  is  stated  in  the 
passage  to  which  I  allude,  that  Watt  took  great  delight  in 
reading  over  the  specifications  of  inventions  for  which  patent 
rights  were  obtained.  He  observed  that  of  those  inventions 
a  large  proportion  turned  out  to  be  entirely  worthless,  and  a 
source  of  ruin  and  disappointment  to  their  authors.  And  it  is 
further  stated  that  he  discovered  that,  among  these  abortive 
inventions,  many  were  but  the  embodiment  of  ideas  which  had 
suggested  themselves  to  his  own  mind— which,  probably,  when 
they  first  presented  themselves,  he  had  welcomed  as  great  dis- 
coveries, likely  to  contribute  to  his  own  fame  and  to  the 
advantage  of  mankind,  but  which,  after  having  subjected  them 
to  that  rigid  and  unsparing  criticism  which  he' felt  it  his 
bounden  duty  to  apply  to  the  offspring  of  his  own  brain,  he 

1848.  SPEECH  ON  EDUCATION.  67 

had  found  to  be  worthless,  and  rejected.  Now,  unquestionably, 
the  powerful  intellect  of  Watt  went  for  much  in  this  matter : 
unquestionably  his  keen  and  practised  glance  enabled  him  to 
detect  flaws  and  errors  in  many  cases  where  an  eye  equally 
honest,  but  less  acute,  would  have  failed  to  discover  them ;  but 
can  we  doubt  that  a  moral  element  was  largely  involved  in  the 
composition  of  that  quality  of  mind  which  enabled  Watt  to 
shun  the  sunken  rocks  on  which  so  many  around  him  were 
making  shipwreck — that  it  was  his  unselfish  devotion  to  truth, 
his  humility,  and  the  practice  of  self-control,  which  enabled 
him  to  rebuke  the  suggestions  of  vanity  and  self-interest,  and, 
with  the  sternness  of  an  impartial  judge,  to  condemn  to  silence 
and  oblivion  even  the  offspring  of  his  own  mind,  for  which  he 
doubtless  felt  a  parent's  fondness,  when  it  fell  short  of  that 
standard  of  perfection  which  he  had  reared  ?  From  this  inci- 
dent in  the  life  of  that  great  man,  we  may  draw,  I  think,  a 
most  useful  lesson,  which  we  may  apply  with  good  effect  to 
fields  of  inquiry  far  transcending  those  to  which  the  anecdote 
has  immediate  reference.  Take,  for  instance,  the  wide  region 
occupied  with  moral  and  political,  or,  as  they  are  styled, 
social  questions  ;  observe  the  wretched  half-truths,  the  perilous 
fallacies,  which  quacks,  greedy  of  applause  or  gain,  and  specie 
lating  on  the  credulity  of  mankind,  more  especially  in  times  of 
perturbation  or  distress,  have  the  audacity  to  palm  upon  the 
world  as  sublime  discoveries  calculated  to  increase,  in  some 
vast  and  untold  amount,  the  sum  of  human  happiness  ;  and 
mark  the  misery  and  desolation  which  follow,  when  the  hopes 
excited  by  these  pretenders  are  dispelled.  It  is  often  said  in 
apology  for  such  persons,  that  they  are,  after  all,  sincere ;  that 
they  are  deceived  rather  than  deceivers  ;  that  they  do  not  ask 
others  to  adopt  opinions  which  they  have  not  heartily  accepted 
themselves ;  but  apply  to  this  reasoning  the  principle  that  I 
have  been  endeavouring  to  illustrate  from  the  life  of  Watt, 
and  we  shall  find,  I  think,  that  the  excuse  is,  in  most  cases,  but 
a  sorry  one,  if,  indeed,  it  be  'any  excuse  at  all.  God  has 
planted  within  the  mind  of  man  the  lights  of  reason  and  of 
conscience,  and  without  it,  He  has  placed  those  of  revelation 
and  experience  ;  and  if  man  wilfully  extinguishes  those  lights, 
in  order  that,  under  cover  of  the  darkness  which  he  has  him- 
self made,  he  may  install  in  the  sanctuary  of  his  understanding 
and  heart,  where  the  image  of  truth  alone  should  dwell,  a  vain 

F  2 

68  CANADA,  CH.  III. 

idol,  a  creature  of  his  own  fond  imaginings,  it  will,  I  fear,  but 
little  avail  him,  more  especially  in  that  day  when  the  secrets 
of  all  hearts  shall  be  revealed,  if  he  shall  plead  in  extenuation 
of  his  guilt  that  he  did  not  invite  others  to  worship  the  idol 
until  he  had  fallen  prostrate  himself  before  it. 

These,  gentlemen,  are  truths  which  I  think  it  will  be  well 
for  us  to  lay  to  heart.  I  address  myself  more  particularly  to 
you  who  are  entering  upon  the  useful  and  honourable  career 
of  the  British  merchant;  for  you  are  now  standing  on  the 
lower  steps  of  a  ladder,  which,  when  it  is  mounted  with  dili- 
gence and  circumspection,  leads  always  to  respectability,  not 
unfrequently  to  high  honour  and  distinction.  Bear  in  mind, 
then,  that  the  quality  which  ought  chiefly  to  distinguish  those 
who  aspire  to  exercise  a  controlling  and  directing  influence  in 
any  department  of  human  action,  from  those  who  have  only  a 
subordinate  part  to  play,  is  the  knowledge  of  principles  and 
general  laws.  A  few  examples  will  make  the  truth  of  this 
proposition  apparent  to  you.  Take,  for  instance,  the  case  of 
the  builder.  The  mason  and  carpenter  must  know  how  to  hew 
the  stone  and  square  the  timber,  and  follow  out  faithfully  the 
working  plan  placed  in  their  hands.  But  the  architect  must 
know  much  more  than  this  ;  he  must  be  acquainted  with  the 
principles  of  proportion  and  form ;  he  must  know  the  laws 
which  regulate  the  distribution  of  heat,  light,  and  air,  in  order 
that  he  may  give  to  each  part  of  a  complicated  structure  its 
due  share  of  these  advantages,  and  combine  the  multifarious 
details  into  a  consistent  whole.  Take  again  the  case  of  the 
seaman.  It  is  enough  for  the  steersman  that  he  watch  certain 
symptoms  in  the  sky  and  on  the  waves ;  that  he  note  the  shift- 
ing of  the  wind  and  compass,  and  attend  to  certain  precise 
rules  which  have  been  given  him  for  his  guidance.  But  the 
master  of  the  ship,  if  he  be  fit  for  his  situation— and  I  am 
sorry  to  say  that  many  undertake  the  duties  of  that  respon- 
sible office  who  are  not  fit  for  it— must  be  thoroughly  ac- 
quainted, not  only  with  the  map  of  the  earth  and  heavens,  but 
he  must  know  also  all  that  science  has  revealed  of  some  of  the 
most  subtle  of  the  operations  of  nature  ;  he  must  understand, 
as  far  as  man  can  yet  discover  them,  what  are  the  laws  which 
regulate  the  movements  of  the  currents,  the  direction  of  the 
tempest,  and  the  meanderings  of  the  magnetic  fluid.  Or,  to 
take  ^  case  with  which  you  are  more  familiar— that  of  the 

1848.  SPEECH   ON   EDUCATION.  69 

merchant.  The  merchant's  clerk  must  understand  book-keep- 
ing and  double-entry,  and  know  how  to  arrange  every  item  of 
the  account  under  its  proper  head,  and  how  to  balance  the  whole 
correctly.  But  the  head  of  the  establishment  must  be  ac- 
quainted, in  addition  to  this,  with  the  laws  which  regulate  the 
exchanges,  with  the  principles  that  affect  the  production  and 
distribution  of  national  wealth,  and  therefore  with  those  social 
and  political  causes  which  are  ever  and  anon  at  work  to  disturb 
calculations,  which  would  have  been  accurate  enough  for  quiet 
times,  but  which  are  insufficient  for  others.  I  think,  there- 
fore, that  I  have  established  the  truth  of  the  proposition,  that 
men  who  aspire  to  exercise  a  directing  and  controlling  influence 
in  any  pursuit  or  business,  should  be  distinguished  by  a  know- 
ledge of  principles  and  general  laws.  But  it  is  in  the  acqui- 
sition of  this  knowledge,  and  more  especially  in  its  application 
to  the  occurrences  of  daily  life,  that  the  chief  necessity  arises 
for  the  exercise  of  those  high  moral  qualities,  with  the  im- 
portance of  which  I  have  endeavoured,  in  these  brief  remarks, 
to  impress  you. 

70  CANADA.  Cn.  IV. 







Commer-     THE  winter  of  1848  passed  quietly  ;  but  the  Commer- 
cial de-  .   ,    ,  •       \     i  •   i_  ^i 

cial  depressionjwmch  was  then  everywhere  prevalent, 
weighed  heavily  on  Canada,  more  especially  on  the 
Upper  Province.  In  one  of  his  letters  Lord  Elgin 
caught  himself,  so  to  speak,  using  the  words,  'the 
'  downward  progress  of  events.'  He  proceeds: — 

The  downward  progress  of  events  !  These  are  ominous 
words.  But  look  at  the  facts.  Property  in  most  of  the 
Canadian  towns,  and  more  especially  in  the  capital,  has  fallen 
fifty  per  cent,  in  value  within  the  last  three  years.  Three- 
fourths  of  the  commercial  men  are  bankrupt,  owing  to  Free- 
trade  ;  a  large  proportion  of  the  exportable  produce  of  Canada 
is  obliged  to  seek  a  market  in  the  States.  It  pays  a  duty  of 
twenty  per  cent,  on  the  frontier.  How  long  can  such  a  state 
of  things  be  expected  to  endure  ? 

Depend  upon  it,  our  commercial  embarrassments  are  our  real 
difficulty.  Political  discontent,  properly  so  called,  there  is 
none.  I  really  believe  no  country  in  the  world  is  more  free 
from  it.  We  have,  indeed,  national  antipathies  hearty  and 
earnest  enough.  We  suffer,  too,  from  the  inconvenience  of 
having  to  work  a  system  which  is  not  yet  thoroughly  in  gear. 
Reckless  and  unprincipled  men  take  advantage  of  these  cir- 
cumstances to  work  into  a  fever  every  transient  heat  that 
affects  the  public  mind.  Nevertheless,  I  am  confident  I  could 
carry  Canada  unscathed  through  all  these  evils  of  transition, 

1849.  REBELLION   LOSSES   BILL.  71 

and  place  the  connection  on  a  surer  foundation  than  ever,  if  I 
could  only  tell  the  people  of  the  province  that  as  regards  the 
conditions  of  material  prosperity,  they  would  be  raised  to  a 
level  with  their  neighbours.  (But  if  this  be  not  achieved,  if 
free  navigation  and  reciprocal  trade  with  the  Union  be  not 
secured  for  us,  the  worst,  I  fear,  will  come,  and  that  at  no 
distant  day. 

Unfortunately,  powerful  interests  in  the  one  case, 
indifference  and  apathy  in  the  other,  prevented  these 
indispensable  measures,  as  he  always  maintained  them 
to  be,  from  being  carried  for  many  years  ;  and  in  the 
meantime  a  most  serious  fever  of  political  discontent  Political 
was  in  effect  worked  up,  out  of  a  heat  which  ought  to 
have  been  as  transient  as  the  cause  of  it  was  intrin- 
sically unimportant. 

Irritated  by  loss  of  office,  groaning  under  the  ruin 
of  their  trade,  outraged  moreover  (for  so  they  repre- 
sented it  to  themselves)  in  their  best  and  most  patriotic 
feelings  by  seeing  '  Kebels  '  in  the  seat  of  power,  the 
Ex-ministerial  party  were  in  a  mood  to  resent  every 
measure  of  the  Government,  and  especially  every  act 
of  the  Governor  -General.  When  Parliament  met  on 
January  18,  he  took  advantage  of  the  repeal  of  the  law 
restricting  the  use  of  the  French  language,  to  de- 
liver his  speech  in  French  as  well  as  in  English  : 
even  this  they  turned  to  his  reproach.  But  their  wrath  Rebellion 
rose  to  fury  on  the  introduction  of  a  Bill  '  to  provide 
4  for  the  indemnification  of  parties  in  Lower  Canada 
4  whose  property  was  destroyed  during  the  Rebellion  in 
'  1837  and  1838  :'  a  4  questionable  measure,'  to  use  Lord 
Elgin's  own  words  in  first  mentioning  it,  'but  one 
4  which  the  preceding  administration  had  rendered  almost 
'inevitable  by  certain  proceedings  adopted  by  them' 
in  Lord  Metcalfe's  time.  As  the  justification  of  the 
measure  is  thus  rested  on  its  previous  history,  a  brief 
retrospect  is  necessary  before  proceeding  with  the 
account  of  transactions  which  formed  an  epoch  in  the 


72  CANADA.  CH.  IV. 

history  of  the  colony,  as  well  as  in  the  life  of  the 

History  Within   a   very    short   time    after   the    close  of  the  - 

Eebellion  of  1837  and  1838,  the  attention  of  both 
sections  of  the  colony  was  directed  to  compensating 
those  who  had  suffered  by  it.  First  came  the  case  of 
the  primary  sufferers,  if  so  they  may  be  called ;  that  is, 
the  Loyalists,  whose  property  had  been  destroyed  by 
Rebels.  Measures  were  at  once  taken  to  indemnify  all 
such  persons, — in  Upper  Canada,  by  an  Act  passed  in 
the  last  session  of  its  separate  Parliament  ;  in  Lower 
Canada,  by  an  ordinance  of  the  '  Special  Council,'  under 
which  it  was  at  that  time  administered.  But  it  was 
felt  that  this  was  not  enough  ;  that  where  property 
had  been  wantonly  and  unnecessarily  destroyed,  even 
though  it  were  by  persons  acting  in  support  of  autho- 
rity, some  compensation  ought  to  be  given ;  and  the 
Upper  Canada  Act  above  mentioned  was  amended  next 
year,  in  the  first  session  of  the  United  Parliament,  so 
as  to  extend  to  all  losses  occasioned  by  violence  on  the 
part  of  persons  acting  or  assuming  to  act  on  Her 
Majesty's  behalf.  Nothing  was  done  at  this  time  about 
Lower  Canada  ;  but  it  was  obviously  inevitable  that 
the  treatment  applied  to  the  one  province  should  be 
extended  to  the  other.  Accordingly,  in  1845,  during 
Lord  Metcalfe's  Government,  and  under  a  Conservative 
administration,  an  Address  was  adopted  unanimously 
by  the  Assembly,  praying  His  Excellency  to  cause 
proper  measures  to  be  taken  'in  order  to  insure  to  the 
c  inhabitants  of  that  portion  of  the  province,  formerly 
'Lower  Canada,  indemnity  for  just  losses  by  them 
'  sustained  during  the  Rebellion  of  1837  and  1838.' 

In  pursuance  of  this  address,  a  Commission  was  ap- 
pointed to  inquire  into  the  claims  of  persons  whose 
property  had  been  destroyed  in  the  rebellion  ;  the 
Commissioners  receiving  instructions  to  distinguish  the 
cases  of  those  persons  who  had  joined,  aided,  or  abetted 

1849.  REBELLION   LOSSES   BILL.  73 

in  the  said  rebellion,  from  the  case  of  those  who  had 
not.  On  inquiring  how  they  were  to  distinguish,  they 
were  officially  answered  that  in  making  out  the  classi- 
fication '  it  was  not  His  Excellency's  intention  that  they 
4  should  be  guided  by  any  other  description  of  evidence 
4  than  that  furnished  by  the  sentences  of  the  Courts  of 
4  Law.'  It  was  also  intimated  to  them  that  they  were 
only  intended  to  form  a  c  general  estimate '  of  the 
rebellion  losses,  4  the  particulars  of  which  must  form 
4  the  subject  of  more  minute  inquiry  hereafter  under 
4  legislative  authority.' 

In  obedience  to  these  instructions,  the  Commissioners 
made  their  investigations,  and  reported  that  they  had 
recognised,  as  worthy  of  further  inquiry,  claims  repre- 
senting a  sum  total  of  241, 9  65/.  105.  §md.  •  but  they 
added  an  expression  of  opinion  that  the  losses  suffered 
would  be  found,  on  closer  examination,  not  to  exceed 
the  value  of  100,000£. 

This  Report  was  rendered  in  April  1846  ;  but  though 
Lord  Metcalfe's  Ministry  which  had  issued  the  Commis- 
sion, avowedly  as  preliminary  to  a  subsequent  and  more 
minute  inquiry,  remained  in  office  for  nearly  two  years 
longer,  they  took  no  steps  towards  carrying  out  their 
declared  intentions. 

So  the  matter  stood  in  March  1848,  when,  as  has 
been  already  stated,  a  new  administration  was  formed, 
consisting  mainly  of  persons  whose  political  sympathies 
were  with  Lower  Canada.  It  was  natural  that  they 
should  take  up  the  work  left  half  done  by  their  pre- 
decessors ;  and  early  in  1849  they  introduced  a  Bill 
which  was  destined  to  become  notorious  under  the 
name  of  the  4  Rebellion  Losses  Bill.'  The  preamble  of  it 
declared  that  in  order  to  redeem  the  pledge  already  given 
to  parties  in  Lower  Canada,  it  was  necessary  and  just 
that  the  particulars  of  such  losses  as  were  not  yet 
satisfied,  should  form  the  subject  of  more  minute  in- 
quiry under  legislative  authority ;  and  that  the  same, 

74  CANADA.  CH.  IV. 

so  far  only  as  they  might  have  arisen  from  the  i  total 
or  partial  unjust  or  wanton  destruction '  of  property, 
should  be  paid  and  satisfied.  A  proviso  was  added 
that  no  person  who  had  been  convicted,  or  pleaded 
guilty,  of  treason  during  the  rebellion  should  be  en- 
titled to  any  indemnity  for  losses  sustained  in  con- 
nection with  it.  The  Bill  itself  authorised  the  appoint- 
ment of  Commissioners  for  the  purpose  of  the  Act,  and 
the  appropriation  of  90,000£.  to  the  payment  of  claims 
that  might  arise  under  it ;  following  in  this  respect  the 
opinion  expressed  by  Lord  Metcalfe's  preliminary 
Commission  of  enquiry. 

Excite-  Such  was  the  measure — so  clearly  inevitable  in  its 

spectingit.  direction,  so  modest  in  its  proportions — which,  falling 
on  an  inflamed  state  of  the  public  mind  in  Canada,  and 
misunderstood  in  England,  was  the  occasion  of  riot  and 
nearly  of  rebellion  in  the  Province,  and  exposed  the 
Governor- General,  who  sanctioned  it,  to  severe  censure 
on  the  part  of  many  whose  opinion  he  most  valued  at 
home.  His  own  feelings  on  its  introduction,  his 
opinion  of  its  merits,  and  his  reasons  for  the  course 
frhich  he  pursued  in  dealing  with  it,  cannot  be  better 
stated  than  in  his  own  words.  Writing  to  Lord  Grey 
on  March  1,  he  says  : — 

A  good  deal  of  excitement  and  bad  feeling  has  been  stirred 
in  the  province  by  the  introduction  of  a  measure  by  the 
Ministry  for  the  payment  of  certain  rebellion  losses  in  Lower 
Canada.  I  trust  that  it  will  soon  subside,  and  that  no  endur- 
ing mischief  will  ensue  from  it,  but  the  Opposition  leaders  have 
taken  advantage  of  the  circumstances  to  work  upon  the  feel- 
ings of  old  Loyalists  as  opposed  to  Eebels,  of  British  as  opposed 
to  French,  and  .of  Upper  Canadians  as  opposed  to  Lower ;  and 
thus  to  provoke  from  various  parts  of  the  province  the  ex- 
pression of  not  very  temperate  or  measured  discontent.  I 
am  occasionally  rated  in  not  very  courteous  language,  and 
peremptorily  required  to  dissolve  the  Parliament  which  was 
elected  only  one  year  ago,  under  the  auspices  of  this  same 
clamorous  Opposition,  who  were  then  in  power.  The  measure 




itself  is  not  indeed  altogether  free  from  objection,  and  I  very 
much  regret  that  an  addition  should  be  made  to  our  debt  for 
such  an  object  at  this  time.  Nevertheless,  I  must  say  I  do 
not  see  how  my  present  Government  could  have  taken  any 
other  course  in  this  matter  than  that  which  they  have  followed. 
Their  predecessors  had  already  gone  more  than  half-way  in  the 
same  direction,  though  they  had  stopped  short,  and  now  tell  us 
that  they  never  intended  to  go  farther.  .  If  the  Ministry  had 
failed  to  complete  the  work  of  alleged  justice  to  Lower 
Canada  which  had  been  commenced  by  the  former  Adminis- 
tration, M.  Papineau  would  most  assuredly  have  availed  him- 
self of  the  plea  to  undermine  their  influence  in  this  section  of 
the  province.  The  debates  in  Parliament  on  this  question 
have  been  acrimonious  and  lengthy,  but  M.  Lafontaine's 
resolutions  were  finally  passed  by  a  majority  of  fifty  to  twenty- 

Dissensions  of  this  class  place  in  strong  relief  the  passions 
and  tendencies  which  render  the  endurance  of  the  political 
system  which  we  have  established  here,  and  of  the  connection 
with  the  mother- country,  uncertain  and  precarious.  They 
elicit  a  manifestation  of  antipathy  between  races  and  of 
jealousy  between  the  recently  united  provinces,  which  is  much 
to  be  regretted.  This  measure  of  indemnity  to  Lower  Canada 
is,  however,  the  last  of  the  kind,  and  if  it  be  once  settled 
satisfactorily,  a  formidable  stumblingblock  will  have  been 
removed  from  my  path. 

A  fortnight  later  he  adds  : — 

The  Tory  party  are  doing  what  they  can  by  menace,  in- 
timidation, and  appeals  to  passion  to  drive  me  to  a  coup  tfEtat. 
And  yet  the  very  measure  which  is  at  this  moment  the  occasion 
of  so  loud  an  outcry,  is  nothing  more  than  a  strict  logical 
following  out  of  their  own  acts.  It  is  difficult  to  conceive 
what  the  address  on  the  subject  of  rebellion  losses  in  Lower 
Canada,  unanimously  voted  by  the  House  of  Assembly  while 
Lord  Metcalfe  was  governor  and  Mr.  Draper  minister,  and  the 
proceedings  of  the  Administration  upon  that  address  could 
have  been  meant  to  lead  to,  if  not  to  such  a  measure  as  the 
present  Government  have  introduced. 

I   enclose   a  letter  which  has  been  published  in  the  news- 

76  CANADA.  Cn.  IV. 

papers  by  A.  M.  Masson,  one  of  the  Bermuda  exiles,1  who 
was  appointed  to  an  office  by  the  late  Government.  This 
person  will  be  excluded  from  compensation  by  the  Bill  of  the 
present  Government,  and  he  positively  asserts  that  Lord 
Metcalfe  and  some  of  his  Ministers  assured  him  that  he  would 
be  included  by  them. 

I  certainly  regret  that  this  agitation  should  have  been 
stirred,  and  that  any  portion  of  the  funds  of  the  province 
should  be  diverted  now  from  much  more  useful  purposes  to 
make  good  losses  sustained  by  individuals  in  the  rebellion. 
But  I  have  no  doubt  whatsoever  that  a  great  deal  of  property 
was  wantonly  and  cruelly  destroyed  at  that  time  in  Lower 
Canada.  Nor  do  I  think  that  this  Government,  after  what 
their  predecessors  had  done,  and  with  Papineau  in  the  rear, 
could  have  helped  taking  up  this  question.  Neither  do  I 
think  that  their  measure  would  have  been  less  objectionable, 
but  very  much  the  reverse,  if,  after  the  lapse  of  eleven  years, 
and  the  proclamation  of  a  general  amnesty,  it  had  been  so 
framed  as  to  attach  the  stigma  of  Eebellion  to  others  than 
those  regularly  convicted  before  the  Courts.  Any  kind  of 
extra-judicial  inquisition  conducted  at  this  time  of  day  by 
Commissioners  appointed  by  the  Government,  with  the  view 
of  ascertaining  what  part  this  or  that  claimant  for  indemnity 
may  have  taken  in  1837  and  1838,  would  have  been  attended 
by  consequences  much  to  be  regretted,  and  have  opened  the 
door  to  an  infinite  amount  of  jobbing,  false  swearing,  and 

'8  Petitions  against  the  measure  were  got  up  by  the 
Tories  in  all  parts  of  the  province  ;  but  these,  instead 
of  being  sent  to  the  Assembly,  or  to  the  Legislative 
Council,  or  to  the  Home  Government,  were  almost  all 
addressed  to  Lord  Elgin  personally  ;  obviously  with 
the  design  of  producing  a  coUision  between  him  and 
his  Parliament.  They  generally  prayed  either  that 
Parliament  might  be  dissolved,  or  that  the  Bill,  if  it 
passed,  might  be  reserved  for  the  royal  sanction.  All 
such  addresses,  and  the  remonstrances  brought  to  him 

banished  to 


by  deputations  of  malcontents,  he  received  with  civility,  Neutrality 
promising  to  bestow  on  them  his  best  consideration,  Governor 
but  studiously  avoiding  the  expression  of  any  opinion 
on  the  points  in  controversy.     By  thus  maintaining  a 
strictly  constitutional  position,  he  foiled  that  section  of 
the  agitators  who  calculated  on  his  being  frightened  or 
made  angry,  while  he  left  a  door  open  for  any  who 
might  have  candour  enough  to  admit  that  after  all  he 
was  only  carrying  out  fairly  the  principle  of  responsible 

In  pursuance  of  this  policy  he  put  off  to  the  latest 
moment  any  decision  as  to  the  course  which  he  should 
take  with  respect  to  the  Bill  when  it  came  up  to  him 
for  his  sanction.  As  regards  a  dissolution,  indeed,  he 
felt  from  the  beginning  that  it  would  be  sheer  folly, 
attended  by  no  small  risk.  Was  he  to  have  recourse 
to  this  ultima  ratio,  merely  because  a  parliament  elected 
a  year  before,  under  the  auspices  of  the  party  now  in 
opposition,  had  passed,  by  a  majority  of  nearly  two  to 
one,  a  measure  introduced  by  the  present  Government, 
in  pursuance  of  the  acts  of  a  former  one  ? 

If  I  had  dissolved  Parliament,  I  might  have  produced  a 
rebellion,  but  most  assuredly  I  should  not  have  procured  a 
change  of  Ministry.  The  leaders  of  the  party  know  that  as 
well  as  I  do,  and  were  it  possible  to  play  tricks  in  such  grave 
concerns,  it  would  have  been  easy  to  throw  them  into  utter 
confusion  by  merely  calling  upon  them  to  form  a  Government. 
They  were  aware,  however,  that  I  could  not  for  the  sake  of 
discomfiting  them  hazard  so  desperate  a  policy :  so  they  have 
played  out  their  game  of  faction  and  violence  without  fear  of  . 

The  other  course  urged  upon  him  by  the  Opposition, 
namely,  that  of  reserving  the  Bill  for  the  consideration 
of  the  Home  Government,  may  appear  to  have  been 
open  to  no  such  objections,  and  to  have  been  in  fact 
the  wisest  course  which  he  could  pursue,  in  circum- 
stances of  so  much  delicacy.  And  this  seems  to  have 

78  CANADA.  CH.  IV. 

been  the  opinion  of  many  in  England,  who  were  dis- 
posed to  approve  of  his  general  policy  ;  but  it  may  be 
doubted  whether  they  had  weighed  all  the  consider- 
ations which  presented  themselves  to  /he  mind  of  the 
Governor  on  the  spot,  and  which  he  stated  to  Lord  Grey 
as  follows : — 

There  are  objections,  too,  to  reserving  the  Bill  which  I  think 
I  shall  consider  insurmountable,  whatever  obloquy  I  may  for 
the  time  entail  on  myself  by  declining  to  lend  myself  even  to  this 
extent  to  the  plans  of  those  who  wish  to  bring  about  a  change 
of  administration. 

In  the  first  place  the  Bill  for  the-relief  of  a  corresponding 
class  of  persons  in  Upper  Canada,  which  was  couched  in  terms 
very  nearly  similar,  was  not  reserved,  and  it  is  difficult  to  dis- 
cover a  sufficient  reason,  in  so  far  as  the  representative  of  the 
Crown  is  concerned,  for  dealing  with  the  one  measure  dif- 
ferently from  the  other.  And  in  the  second  place,  by  reserv- 
ing the  Bill  I  should  only  throw  upon  Her  Majesty's  Govern- 
ment, or  (as  it  would  appear  to  the  popular  eye  here)  on  Her 
Majesty  herself,  a  responsibility  which  rests,  and  ought,  I 
think,  to  rest,  on  my  own  shoulders.  If  I  pass  the  Bill, 
whatever  mischief  ensues  may  probably  be  repaired,  if  the 
worst  comes  to  the  worst,  by  the  sacrifice  of  me.  Whereas, 
if  the  case  be  referred  to  England,  it  is  not  impossible  that 
Her  Majesty  may  only  have  before  her  the  alternative  of  pro- 
voking a  rebellion  in  Lower  Canada,  by  refusing  her  assent  to 
a  measure  chiefly  affecting  the  interest  of  the  habitttns,  and 
thus  throwing  the  whole  population  into  Papineau's  hands,  or 
of  wounding  the  susceptibilities  of  some  of  the  best  subjects 
she  has  in  the  province.  For  among  the  objectors  to  this  Bill 
are  undoubtedly  to  be  found  not  a  few  who  belong  to  this 
class ;  men  who  are  worked  upon  by  others  more  selfish  and 
designing,  to  whom  the  -principles  of  constitutional  Govern- 
ment are  unfathomable  mysteries,  and  who  still  regard  the 
representative  of  royalty,  and  in  a  more  remote  sense  the 
Crown  and  Government  of  England,  if  not  as  the  objects  of  a 
very  rttttntic  loyalty  (for  that,  I  fear,  is  fast  waning),  at  least 
as  the  butts  of  a  most  intense  and  unrelenting  indignation,  if 
political  affairs  be  not  administered  in  entire  accordance  with 
their  sense  of  what  is  rio-ht. 


In  solving  these  knotty  problems,  and  choosing  his 
course  of  action,  the  necessities  of  the  situation  required 
that  he  should  be  guided  by  his  own  unaided  judgment, 
and  act  entirely  on  his  own  responsibility.  For  although, 
throughout  all  his  difficulties,  in  the  midst  of  the  re- 
proaches with  which  he  was  assailed  both  in  the  colony 
/  and  in  England,  he  had  the  great  satisfaction  of  know- 
ing that  his  conduct  was  entirely  approved  by  Lord 
Grey,  to  whom  he  opened  all  his  mind  in  private  letters, 
the  official  communications  which  passed  between  them 
were  necessarily  very  reserved.  The  following  extract 
illustrates  well  this  peculiarity  in  the  position  of  a 
British  Colonial  Governor,  who  has  two  popular  As- 
semblies and  two  public  presses  to  consider  : — 

Perhaps  you  may  have  been  annoyed  by  my  not  writing 
officially  to  you  ere  this  so  as  to  give  you  communications  to 
.  send  to  Parliament,  All  that  I  can  say  on  that  point  is,  that 
I  have  got  through  this  disagreeable  affair  as  well  as  I  have 
!  done  only  by  maintaining  my  constitutional  position,  listening 
1  civilly  to  all  representations  addressed  to  me  against  the 
measure,  and  adhering  to  a  strict  reserve  as  to  the  course 
which  I  might  deem  it  proper  eventually  to  pursue.  By 
following  this  course  I  have  avoided  any  act  or  expression 
which  might  have  added  fuel  to  the  flame ;  and  although  I  have 
been  plentifully  abused,  because  it  has  been  the  policy  of  the 
Opposition  to  drag  me  into  the  strife,  no  one  can  say  that  I 
have  said  or  done  anything  to  justify  the  abuse.  And  the 
natural  effect  of  such  patient  endurance  is  now  beginning  to 
show  itself  in  the  moderated  tone  of  the  organs  of  the  Oppo- 
sition press.  You  will  perceive,  however,  that  I  could  not 
possibly  have  maintained  this  position  here,  if  despatches  from 
me  indicating  the  Ministerial  policy  had  been  submitted  to  the 
House  of  Commons.  They  would  have  found  their  way  out 
here  at  once.  Every  statement  and  opinion  would  have  formed 
the  subject  of  discussion,  and  I  should  have  found  myself  in 
the  midst  of  the  melee  a  partisan. 

To  counteract  the  violent  and  reckless  efforts  of  the 
Opposition,  Lord  Elgin  trusted  partly  to  the  obvious 

80  CANADA.  CH.  IV. 

reasonableness  of  the  proposal  under  discussion,  but 
more  to  the  growth  of  a  patriotic  spirit  which  should 
lead  the  minority  to  prefer  the  rule  of  a  majority 
within  the  province  to  the  coercion  of  a  power  from 
without.  Something  also  he  hoped  from  the  effect  of 
'  the  many  excellent  measures  brought  in  about  the  same 
time  by  his  new  Ministry,  c  the  first  really  efficient  and 
c  working  Government  that  Canada  had  had  since  the 
4  Union.'  Nor  were'these  hopes  altogether  disappointed. 
Writing  on  April  12  he  observed,  that  a  marked  change 
had  taken  place  within  the  last  few  weeks  in  the  tone 
both  of  the  press  1  and  of  the  leaders  of  the  party,  some 
of  whom  had  given  him  to  understand,  through  dif- 
ferent channels,  that  they  regretted  things  had  gone  so 
far.  i  But/  he  adds,  c  whether  the  gales  from  England 
4  will  stir  the  tempest  again  or  not  remains  to  be  seen.' 

h/i",!g-S  And>  in  effect>  tne  next  Post  fr°m  England  came 
Lmd.  laden  with  speeches  and  newspaper  articles,  denouncing, 
in  no  measured  terms,  the  '  suicidal  folly  of  rewarding 
rebels  for  rebellion.'  A  London  journal  of  influence, 
speaking  of  the  British  population  as  affected  by  the 
measure  in  question,  said : — c  They  are  tolerably  able  to 
c  take  care  of  themselves,  and  we  very  much  misconstrue 
c  the  tone  adopted  by  the  English  press  and  the  English 
c  public  in  the  province,  if  they  do  not  find  some  means 
'  of  resisting  the  heavy  blow  and  great  discouragement 
1  which  is  aimed  at  them.'  Such  passages  were  read  with 
avidity  in  the  colony,  and  construed  to  mean  that  sym- 
pathy would  be  extended  from  influential  quarters  at 
home  to  those  who  sought  to  annul  the  obnoxious  de- 
cision of  the  local  Legislature,  whatever  might  be  the 
means  to  which  they  resorted  for  the  attainment  of  that 
end.  It  may  be  doubted,  however,  whether  any  ex- 

*  One  of  the  Conservative  papers  bellion  losses  than  have* what  is  no- 

tne  day  wrote  :— <  Bad  as  the  pay-  miually  a  free  Constitution  fettered 

ment  of  the  rebellion  losses  is,  we  and  restrained  each  time  a  measure 

o  not  know  that  it  would  not  be  distasteful  to  the  minority  is  passed.' 

better  to  submit  to  pay  twenty  re- 

1849.  RIOTS   AT   MONTREAL.  81 

traneous  disturbance  of  this  kind  had  much  to  do  with 
the  volcanic  outburst  of  local  passions  which  ensued, 
and  which  is  now  to  be  related. 

The  Bill  was  passed  in  the  Assembly  by  forty- seven  The  BUI 
votes  to    eighteen.     On  analysing   the   votes,  it  was  lsPaBsed> 
found   that  out  of   thirty-one   members    from    Upper 
Canada  who  voted  on  the  occasion,  seventeen  supported 
and  fourteen  opposed  it  ;  and  that  of  ten  members  for 
Lower  Canada,  of  British  descent,  six  supported  and 
four  opposed  it. 

These  facts  (wrote  Lord  Elgin)  seemed  altogether  irrecon- 
cilable with  the  allegation  that  the  question  was  one  on  which 
the  two  races  were  arrayed  against  each  other  throughout  the 
province  generally.  I  considered,  therefore,  that  by  reserving 
the  Bill,  I  should  only  cast  on  Her  Majesty  and  Her  Majesty's 
advisers  a  responsibility  which  ought,  in  the  first  instance  at 
least,  to  rest  on  my  own  shoulders,  and  that  I  should  awaken 
in  the  minds  of  the  people  at  large,  even  of  those  who  were 
indifferent  or  hostile  to  the  Bill,  doubts  as  to  the  sincerity  with 
which  it  was  intended  that  constitutional  Government  should 
be  carried  on  in  Canada ;  doubts  which  it  is  my  firm  conviction, 
if  they  were  to  obtain  generally,  would  be  fatal  to  the  con- 

Accordingly,  when,  on  April  25,  1849,  circumstances  and  re- 
made it  necessary  for  him  to  proceed  to  Parliament  in  §JI^[ l 
order  to  give  the  Royal  Assent  to  a  Customs  Bill  which  Assent. 
had  that  day  passed  the   Legislative  Council,  he  con- 
sidered that,  as  this  necessity  had  arisen,  it  would  not 
be  expedient  to  keep  the   public  mind  in  suspense  by 
omitting  to  dispose,  at  the  same  time,  of  the  other  Acts 
which  still  awaited  his  decision,  among  which  was  the 
'  Act  to  provide  for  the  indemnification  of  parties  in 
c  Lower  Canada  whose  property  was  destroyed  during 
4  the  Rebellion  in  1837   and  1838.'     What  followed  is 
thus  described  in  an  official  despatch  written  within  a 
few  days  after  the  event : — 

When  I  left  the  House  of  Parliament  I  was  received  with  Kiots. 
mingled  cheers  and  hootings  by  a  crowd  by  no  means  numerous 


$2  CANADA.  CH.  IV. 

which  surrounded  the  entrance  to  the  building.  A  small  knot 
of  individuals,  consisting,  it  has  since*  been  ascertained,  of 
persons  of  a  respectable  class  in  society,  pelted  the  carriage 
with  missiles  which  they  must  have  brought  with  them  for  the 
purpose.  Within  an  hour  after  this  occurrence  a  notice,  of 
which  I  enclose  a  copy,  issued  from  one  of  the  newspaper 
offices,  calling  a  meeting  in  the  open  air.  At  the  meeting  in- 
flammatory speeches  were  made.  On  a  sudden,  whether  under 
the  effect  of  momentary  excitement,  or  in  pursuance  of  a  plan 
arranged  beforehand,  the  mob  proceeded  to  the  House  of  Par- 
liament, where  the  members  were  still  sitting,  and  breaking 
the  windows,  set  fire  to  the  building  and  burned  it  to  the 
ground.  By  this  wanton  act  public  property  of  considerable 
value,  including  two  excellent  libraries,  has  been  utterly  de- 
stroyed. Having  achieved  their  object  the  crowd  dispersed, 
apparently  satisfied  with  what  they  had  done.  The  members 
were  permitted  to  retire  unmolested,  and  no  resistance  was 
offered  to  the  military  who  appeared  on  the  ground  after  a 
brief  interval,  to  restore  order,  and  aid  in  extinguishing  the 
flames.  During  the  two  following  days  a  good  deal  of  excite- 
ment prevailed  in  the  streets,  and  some  further  acts  of  in- 
cendiarism were  perpetrated.  Since  then  the  military  force 
has  been  increased,  and  the  leaders  of  the  disaffected  party 
have  shown  a  disposition  to  restrain  their  followers,  and  to 
direct  their  energies  towards  the  more  constitutional  object  of 
petitioning  the  Queen  for  my  recall,  and  the  disallowance  of 
the  obnoxious  Bill,  The  proceedings  of  the  House  of  Assem- 
bly will  also  tend  to  awe  the  turbulent.  I  trust,  therefore, 
that  the  peace  of  the  city  will  not  be  again  disturbed. 

The  Ministry  are  blamed  for  not  having  made  adequate  pro- 
vision against  these  disasters.  That  they  by  no  means  expected 
that  the  hostility  to  the  Rebellion  Losses  Bill  would  have  dis- 
played itself  in  the  outrages  which  have  been  perpetrated 
during  the  last  few  days  is  certain.1  Perhaps  sufficient  atten- 
tion was  not  paid  by  them  to  the  menaces  of  the  Opposition 
press.  It  must  be  admitted,  however,  that  their  position  was 
one  of  considerable  difficulty.  The  civil  force  of  Montreal— 
a  city  containing  about  50,000  inhabitants  of  different  races, 

1  <  I  confess,'  he  wrote  in  a  private      <  of  order  which  covers  the  anarchical 

Wn/l        Tme  ia.te>/Ildid  not      '  elements  that  boil  and  toss  beneath 
before  know  how  thin  is  the  crust      <  our  feet ' 

1849.  RIOTS   AT   MONTREAL.  83 

with  secret  societies  and  other  agencies  of  mischief  in  constant 
activity — consists  of  two  policemen  under  the  authority  of  the 
Government,  and  seventy  appointed  by  the  Corporation.  To 
oppose,  therefore,  effectual  resistance  to  any  considerable  mob, 
recourse  must  be  had  in  all  cases  either  to  the  military  or  to  a 
force  of  civilians  enrolled  for  the  occasion.  Grave  objections, 
however,  presented  themselves  in  the  present  instance  to  the 
adoption  of  either  of  these  courses  until  the  disposition  to 
tumult  on  the  part  of  the  populace  unhappily  manifested  itself 
in  overt  acts.  More  especially  was  it  of  importance  to  avoid 
any  measure  which  might  have  had  a  tendency  to  produce  a 
collision  between  parties  on  a  question  on  which  their  feelings 
were  so  strongly  excited.  The  result  of  the  course  pursued  is, 
that  there  has  been  no  bloodshed,  and,  except  in  the  case  of 
some  of  the  Ministers  themselves,  no  destruction  of  private 

The  passions,  however,  which  appeared  to  have 
calmed  down,  burst  out  with  fresh  fury  the  very  day 
on  which  these  sentences  were  penned.  The  House  of 
Assembly  had  voted,  by  a  majority  of  thirty-six  to 
sixteen,  an  address  to  the  Governor-General,  expres- 
sive of  abhorrence  at  the  outrages  which  had  taken 
place,  of  loyalty  to  the  Queen,  and  approval  of  his  just 
and  impartial  administration  of  the  Government,  with 
his  late  as  well  as  with  his  present  advisers*  It  was 
arranged  that  Lord  Elgin  should  receive  this  Address 
at  the  Government  House  instead  of  at  Monklands. 
Accordingly,  on  April  30,  he  drove  into  the  city, 
escorted  by  a  troop  of  volunteer  dragoons,  and  accom- 
panied by  several  of  his  suite.  On  his  way  through 
the  streets  he  was  greeted  with  showers  of  stones,  and 
w^ith  difficulty  preserved  his  face  from  being  injured.1 
On  his  return  he  endeavoured  to  avoid  all  occasion  of 
conflict  by  going  back  by  a  different  route  ;  but  the 
mob,  discovering  his  purpose,  rushed  in  pursuit,  and 

1  *  When  he  entered  the  Govern-  '  most  unusual  and  sorrowful  treat- 

'  ment  House  he  took  a  two-pound  f  ment  Her  Majesty's  representative 

'  stone  with  him  which  he  had  picked  '  had  received.' — Mac  Mullen,  p.  511, 
1  up  in  his  carriage,  as  evidence  of  the 

84  CANADA.  CH.  IV. 

again  assailed  his  carriage  with  various  missiles,  and  it 
was  only  by  rapid  driving  that  he  escaped  unhurt.1 

None  but  those  who  were  in  constant  intercourse 
with  him  can  know  what  Lord  Elgin  went  through 
during  the  period  of  excitement  which  followed  these 
gross  outrages.  The  people  of  Montreal  seemed  to 
have  lost  their  reason.  The  houses  of  some  of  the 
Ministers  and  of  their  supporters  were  attacked  by  mobs 
at  night,  and  it  was  not  safe  for  them  to  appear  in  the 
streets.  A  hostile  visit  was  threatened  to  the  house  in 
which  the  Governor -General  resided  at  a  short  distance 
from  the  city  ;  all  necessary  preparation  was  made  to 
defend  it,  and  his  family  were  kept  for  some  time  in  a 
state  of  anxiety  and  suspense.2 

For  some  weeks  he  himself  did  not  go  into  the  town 
of  Montreal,  but  kept  entirely  within  the  bounds  of  his 
country  seat  at  Monklands,  determined  that  no  act  of 
his  should  offer  occasion  or  excuse*  to  the  mob  for  fresh 
outrage.3  He  knew,  of  course,  that  the  whole  of  French 
Lower  Canada  was  ready  at  any  moment  to  rise,  as  one 
man,  in  support  of  the  Government ;  but  his  great  ob- 
ject was  to  keep  them  quiet,  and  c  to  prevent  collision 
i  between  the  races/ 

1  l  Cabs,  caleches,  and  everything      who   was  christened  Victor  Alex- 

*  that  would  run  were  at  once  launched      ander. 

t  in  pursuit,  and  crossing  his  route,  the  3  The  motives,  he  afterwards  said, 

'  Governor-General's     carriage    was  which  induced  him  to  abstain  from 

'  bitterly  assailed  in  the  main  street  of  forcing  his  way  into  Montreal,  might 

'  the  St.Lawrence  suburbs.  The  good  be  correctly  stated  in  the  words  of 

1  and  rapid  driving  of  his  postilions  the  Duke  of  Wellington,  who,  when 

'  enabled  him  to  clear  the  desperate  asked  why  he   did  not  go   to   the 

'  mob,  but  not  till  the  head  of  his  city  in  1830,  is    reported    to   have 

'  brother,  Colonel  Bruce,  had   been  answered,  *  I  would  have  gone  if  the 

'cut,  injuries  inflicted  on  the  chief  of  •'  law  had  been  equal  to  protect  me, 

*  police,  Colonel  Ermatinger,  and  on  '  but  that  was  not  the  case.     Fifty 
1  Captain  Jones,  commanding  the  es-  '  dragoons  would  have  done  it,  but 

*  cort,  and  every  panel  of  the  carriage  '  that  was  a  military  force.    If  firing 

*  driven  in.' — Mac  Mullen,  p.  511.  '  had  begun,  who  could  tell  when  it 

2  In   the   midst   of  this   time  of  (  would  end  ?  one  guiltv  person  would 
anxiety  and  even  of  danger  to  him-  '  fall  and  ten  innocent  be  destroyed, 
self  and  his  family,  his  eldest  son  (  Would  this  have  been  wise  or  hu- 
was  born  at  Monklands,  on  May  16.  '  mane  for  a  little  bravado,  or  that 
Her  Majesty  was  graciously  pleased  '  the  country  might  not  be  alarmed 
to  become  godmother  to  the  child,  '  for  a  day  or  two  ? ' 


4  Throughout  the  .whole  of  this  most  trying  time/  Firmness 

nf  tVi 

writes  Major    Campbell,1    4  Lord  Elgin  remained  per-  Governor. 

4  fectly  calm  and  cool  ;  never  for  a  moment  losing  his 

4  self-possession,  nor  failing  to  exercise  that  clear  fore- 

1  sight  and  sound  judgment  for  which  he  was  so  remark- 

4  able.     It  came  to  the  knowledge  of  his  Ministers  that, 

'  if  he  went  into  the  city  again,  his  life  would  be  in  great 

4  danger  ;  and  they  advised  that  a  commission  should 

4  issue  to  appoint  a  Deputy -Governor  for  the  purpose  of 

4  proroguing  Parliament.    He  was  urged  by  irresponsible  Refuses 

4  advisers  to  make  use  of  the  military  forces  at  his  com-  use  force, 

4  mand,  to  protect  his  person  in  an  official  visit  to  the 

4  city;  but  he  declined  to  do  so,  and  thus  avoided  what 

4  these  infatuated  rioters  seemed  determined  to  bring  on 

4  — the  shedding  of  blood.     44 1  am  prepared/'  he  said, 

4  "  to  bear  any  amount  of  obloquy  that  may  be  cast  upon 

4  44  me,  but,  if  I  can  possibly  prevent  it,  no  stain  of  blood   • 

4  44  shall  rest  upon  my  name." 

As  might  have  been  expected,  the  Montreal  press 
attributed  this  wise  and  magnanimous  self-restraint  to 
fear  for  his  own  safety.  But  he  was  not  to  be  moved 
from  his  resolve  by  the  paltry  imputation ;  nor  did  he 
even  care  that  his  friends  should  resent  or  refute  it  on 
his  behalf. 

So  little  was  he  affected  by  it  that  on  finding,  some 
years  afterwards,  that  Lord  Grey  proposed  to  introduce 
some  expression  of  indignation  on  the  subject  in  his 
work  on  the  colonies,  he  dissuaded  him  from  doing  so, 
4 1  do  not  believe,'  he  said,  4that  these  imputations  were 
4  hazarded  in  any  respectable  quarter,  or  that  they  are 
4  entitled  to  the  dignity  of  a  place  in  your  narrative.' 

But  if  neither  the  entreaties   of  4  irresponsible  ad-  or  *?  7ield 

*  to  violence, 

4  visers,  nor  the  taunts  of  foes,  could  move  him  to 
the  use  of  force,  he  was  equally  firm  in  his  determi- 
nation to  concede  nothing  to  the  clamour  and  violence 

1  His  valued  Secretary,  to  whose  personal  recollections  most  of  these 
details  are  due. 

86  CANADA.  On.  IV. 

of  the  mob.  Writing  •  officially  to  Lord  Grey  on  the 
30th  of  April,  when  the  fury  of  the  populace  was  at  its 
height,  he  said : — 

It  is  my  firm  conviction  that  if  this  dictation  he  submitted 
to,  the  government  of  this  province  by  constitutional  means 
will  be  impossible,  and  that  the  struggle  between  overbearing 
minorities,  backed  by  force,  and  majorities  resting  on  legality 
and  established  forms,  which  has  so  long  proved  the  bane  of 
Canada,  driving  capital  from  the  province,  and  producing  a 
state  of  chronic  discontent,  will  be  perpetuated. 

Tendersre-       At  the  same  time,  he  thought  it  his  duty  to  suggest, 

signation.    tkat  t  j£  ^e  ^ould  be  unable  to  recover  that  position  of 

1  dignified  neutrality  between  contending  parties  which 

4  it  had  been  his  unremitting  study  to  maintain/  it  might 

be  a  question  whether  it  would  not  be  for  the  interests 

of  Her  Majesty's  service  that  he  should  be  removed, 

to  make  way  for  some  one  '  who  should  have  the  advan- 

4  tage  of  being  personally  unobnoxious  to  any  section  of 

4  Her  Majesty's  subjects  within  the  province.' 

Approval         The  reply  to  this  letter  assured  him,  in  emphatic 

Gover™6     terms,  of  the  cordial  approval  and  support  of  the  Home 

ment         Government.     4  I  appreciate,'  wrote  Lord   Grey,  '  the 

4  motives  which  have  induced  your  Lordship  to  offer  the 

4  suggestion  with  which  your  despatch  concludes,  but  I 

4  should  most  earnestly  deprecate  the  change  it  contem- 

4  plates  in  the  government  of  Canada.    Your  Lordship's 

4  relinquishment  of  that  office,  which,  under  any  circum- 

4  stances,  would  be  a  most  serious  loss  to  Her  Majesty's 

4  service,   and  to  the  province,   could  not  fail,  in  the 

4  present  state  of  affairs,  to  be  most  injurious  to  the 

4  public  welfare,  from  the  encouragement  which  it  would 

4  give  to  those  who  have  been  concerned  in  the  violent 

4  and  illegal  opposition  which  has  been  offered  to  your 

4  Government.     I  also  feel  no  doubt  that  when  the  pre- 

4  sent  excitement  shall  have  subsided,  you  will  succeed 

4  in  regaining  that  position  of  "  dignified  neutrality  " 

4  becoming  your  office,  which,  as  you  justly  observe,  it 

1849.  SUPPORT   IN   THE   COLONY.  87 

4  has  hitherto  been  your  study  to  maintain,  and  from 
c  which,  even  those  who  are  at  present  most  opposed  to 
4  you,  will,  on  reflection,  perceive  that  you  have  been 
4  driven,  by  no  fault  on  your  part,  but  by  their  own 
4  unreasoning  violence. 

4  Relying,  therefore,  upon  your  devotion  to  the  in- 
4  terests  of  Canada,  I  feel  assured  that  you  will  not  be 
4  induced  by  the  unfortunate  occurrences  which  have 
4  taken  place,  to  retire  from  the  high  office  which  the 
4  Queen  has  been  pleased  to  entrust  to  you,  and  which, 
4  from  the  value  she  puts  upon  your  past  services,  it  is 
4  Her  Majesty's  anxious  wish  that  you  should  retain.' 

While  awaiting,  in  his  retreat  at  Monklands,  the  con-  support  in 
trecoup  from  the  mother-country  of  the  storm  which  had  the  colony. 
burst  over  the  colony,  Lord  Elgin  found  a  great  source 
of  consolation  in  the  numerous  sympathetic  addresses 
which  poured  in  from  every  part  of  the  province  :  for- 
tifying him  in  the  conviction  that  the  heart  of  the  colony 
was  with  him,  and  that  the  bitter  opposition  at  Montreal 
was  chiefly  due  to  local  causes ;  especially  4  to  commer- 
4  cial  distress,  acting  on  religious  bigotry  and  national 
4  hatred.'  One  of  these  addresses,  coming  from  the 
county  of  Glengarry,  an  ancient  settlement  of  Scottish 
loyalists,  appears  to  have  touched  the  Scotsman's  heart 
within  the  statesman's.  In  reply  to  it  Ke  said : — 

Men  of  Glengarry — My  heart  warms  within  me  when  I 
listen  to  your  manly  and  patriotic  address. 

I  recognise  in  it  evidence  of  that  vigorous  understanding 
which  enables  men  of  the  stock  to  which  you  belong  to  prize, 
as  they  ought  to  be  prized,  the  blessings  of  well-ordered  free- 
dom, and  of  that  keen  sense  of  principle  which  prompts  them 
to  recoil  from  no  sacrifice  which  duty  enjoins. 

The  men  of  Glengarry  need  not  recapitulate  their  services. 
He  must  be  ignorant  indeed  of  the  history  of  Canada  who  does 
not  know  how  much  they  have  done  and  suffered  for  their 
Sovereign  and  their  country. 

You  inhabit  here  a  goodly  land.     A  land  full  of  promise, 

88  CANADA.  CH.  IV. 

where  your  children  have  room  enough  to  increase  and  to 
multiply,  and  to  become,  with  God's  blessing,  greater  and  more 
prosperous  than  yourselves.  But  I  am  confident  that  no  spell 
less  potent  than  the  gentle  and  benignant  control  of  those 
liberal  institutions  which  it  is  Britain's  pride  and  privilege  to 
bestow  on  her  children,  will  insure  the  peaceful  development 
of  its  unrivalled  resources,  or  knit  together  into  one  happy 
and  united  family  the  various  races  of  which  this  community 
is  composed. 

On  this  conviction  I  have  acted,  in  labouring  to  secure  for 
you,  during  the  whole  course  of  my  administration,  the  full 
benefit  of  constitutional  government.  It  is  truly  gratifying  to 
me  to  learn  that  you  appreciate  my  exertions.  Depend  upon 
it,  they  will  not  be  relaxed.  I  claim  to  have  something  of 
your  own  spirit :  devotion  to  a  cause  which  I  believe  to  be  a 
just  one — courage  to  confront,  if  need  be,  danger  and  even 
obloquy  in  its  pursuit — and  an  undying  faith  that  God  protects 
the  right. 

Debates  in  In  the  meantime  the  unhappy  Bill,  which  had 
phaerifa"tlsh  caused  such  an  explosion  in  the  colony,  was  running 
ment>  the  gantlet  of  the  British  Parliament.  On  June  14  it 
i  was  vehemently  attacked  in  the  House  of  Commons  by 
Mr.  Gladstone,  as  being  a  measure  for  the  rewarding  of 
Kebels.1  He,  indeed,  contented  himself  with  '  calling 
4  the  attention  of  the  House  to  certain  parts '  of  the  Bill 
in  question;  but  Mr.  Herries,  following  out  the  same 
views  to  their  legitimate  conclusion,  moved  an  Address 
to  Her  Majesty  to  disallow  the  Act  of  the  Colonial 
Legislature.  The  debate  was  sustained  with  great 
vigour  for  two  nights  ;  in  the  course  of  which  the  Act 
was  defended  not  only  by  Lord  John  Russell  as  leader 
of  the  Government,  but  also,  with  even  more  force, 
by  his  great  opponent  Sir  Robert  PeeL-  Speaking  with 
all  the  weight  of  an  impartial  observer,  he  showed  that 

1  Some   years  afterwards,  in  the  even  then,  either  as  to  the  inten- 

'  Address '  already  quoted,  Mr.  Glad-  tion  with  which  the  Act  was  framed, 

stone  made  something  of  an  amende  or  as  to  the  manner  in  which  it  had 

for  this  attack ;  but  he  does  not  ap-  been  carried  out. 
pear   to  have  been  fully  informed, 


it  was  not  the  intention  of  the  measure,  and  would 
not  be  its  effect,  to  give  compensation  to  anyone  who 
could  be  proved  to  have  been  a  rebel ;  that  it  was  only 
an  inevitable  sequel  to  other  measures  which  had  been 
passed  without  opposition  ;  and,  further,  that  its  rejec- 
tion at  this  stage  would  be  resisted  by  all  parties  in  the 
colony  alike,  as  an  arbitrary  interference  with  their 
right  of  self-government.  On  a  division  the  amend- 
ment of  Mr.  Herries  was  thrown  out  by  a  majority  of 
141.  And  though,  a  few  nights  later,  a  resolution 
somewhat  in  the  same  sense,  moved  by  Lord  Brougham 
in  the  Upper  House,  was  only  negatived,  with  the  aid 
of  proxies,  by  three  votes,  the  large  majority  in  the 
House  of  Commons,  and  the  firm  attitude  of  the 
Government  on  the  subject,  did  much  to  quiet  the 
excitement  in  the  colony. 

The  news  from  England  (wrote  Lord  Elgin)  has  produced 
a  marked,  and,  so  far  as  it  goes,  a  satisfactory  change  in  the 
tone  of  the  Press ;  in  proof  of  which  I  send  you  the  leading 
articles  of  the  Tory  papers  of  Saturday.  .  .  .  The  party, 
it  would  appear,  is  now  split  into  three  ;  but  on  one  point  all 
are  agreed.  We  must  have  done,  they  say,  with  this  habit  of 
abusing  the  French ;  we  must  live  with  them  on  terms  of 
amity  and  affection.  Such  is  the  firstfruit  of  the  policy  which 
was  to  bring  about,  we  were  assured,  a  war  of  races. 

This  satisfactory  result  was  also  due  in  part  to  the 
wise  measures  adopted  by  the  Ministry,  under  direction 
of  the  Governor- General,  for  giving  effect  to  the  pro- 
visions of  the  much-disputed  Bill. 

We  are  tak'ng  steps  (he  wrote  on  June  17)  to  carry  out  the 
Rebellion  Losses  Bill.  Having  adopted  the  measure  of  the 
late  Conservative  Government,  we  are  proceeding  to  re- 
appoint  their  own  Commissioners  ;  and,  not  content  with  that, 
we  are  furnishing  them  with  instructions  which  place  upon  the 
Act  the  most  restricted  and  loyalist  construction  of  which  the 
terms  are  susceptible.  Truly,  if  ever  rebellion  stood  upon  a 
rickety  pretence,  it  is  the  Canadian  Tory  Rebellion  of  1849. 

90  CANADA.  CH.  IV. 

Freshriots.  Unhappily  the  flames,  which  at  this  time  had  nearly 
died  out,  were  re-kindled  two  months  later  on  occasion 
of  the  arrest  of  certain  persons  concerned  in  the  former 
riots;  and  though  this  fresh  outbreak  lasted  but  a  few 
days,  it  was  attended  in  one  case  with  fatal  conse- 
quences.1 Writing  on  August  20,  Lord  Elgin  says  :— 

We  are  again  in  some  excitement  here.  M.  Lafontaine's 
house  was  attacked  by  a  mob  (for  the  second  time)  two  nights 
ago.  Some  persons  within  fired,  and  one  of  the  assailants  was 
killed.  The  violent  Clubbists  are  trying  to  excite  the  passions 
of  the  multitude,  alleging  that  this  is  Anglo-Saxon  blood  shed 
by  a  Frenchman. 

The  immediate  cause  of  this  excitement  is  the  arrest  of 
certain  persons  who  were  implicated  in  the  destruction  of  the 
Parliament  buildings  in  April  last.  I  was  desirous,  for  the 
sake  of  peace,  that  these  parties  should  not  be  arrested  until 
indictments  had  been  laid  before  the  grand  jury,  and  true  bills 
found  against  them.  Unfortunately,  in  consequence  of  the 
cholera,  the  requisite  number  of  jurors  to  form  a  court  was 
not  forthcoming  for  the  August  term.  The  Government 
thought  that  they  could  not,  without  impropriety,  put  off 
taking  any  steps  against  these  persons  till  November.  They 
were,  therefore,  arrested  last  week ;  all  except  one,  who  was 
committed  for  arson,  were  at  once  bailed  by  the  magistrates ; 
and  he  too  was  bailed  the  day  after  his  committal  by  one  of 
the  judges  of  the  Supreme  Court. 

All  this  is  simple  enough,  and  augurs  no  very  vindictive 
spirit  in  the  authorities.  Nevertheless  it  affords  the  occasion 
for  a  fresh  exhibition  of  the  recklessness  of  the  Montreal  mob, 
and  the  demoralisation  of  other  classes  in  the  community. 

Again  on  the  27th  he  writes  : — 

We  have  had  a  fortnight  of  crisis  consequent  on  the  arrests 
which  I  reported  to  you  last  week  ;  which  may  perhaps  be  the 
prelude  (though  I  do  not  like  to  be  too  sanguine)  to  better 
times.  A  most  violent  excitement  was  got  up  by  the  Press 
against  M.  Lafontaine  more  especially,  as  the  instigator  of 

1  *  This/    observes    Lord    Grey,      '  the  only  life  lost  throughout  these 
'  owing  to  the  extreme  forbearance      '  unhappy  disturbances.' 
'  of  Lord  Elgin  and  his  advisers,  was 

1849.  FRESH   RIOTS.  91 

the  arrests  and  the  cause  of  the  death  of  the  young  man  who 
was  shot  in  the  attack  on  his  house.  A  vast  number  of  men, 
wearing  red  scarfs  and  ribands,  attended  the  funeral  of  the 
youth.  The  shops  were  shut  on  the  line  of  the  procession ; 
fires  occurred  during  several  successive  nights  in  different 
parts  of  the  town,  under  circumstances  warranting  the  sus- 
picion of  incendiarism. 

Upon  this  the  stipendiary  magistrates,  charged  by 
the  Government  with  the  preservation  of  the  peace  of 
the  city,  represented  officially  to  the  Governor  that 
nothing  could  save  it  but  the  proclamation  of  Martial 
Law.  But  he  told  his  Council  that  he  4  would  neither 
4  consent  to  Martial  Law,  nor  to  any  measures  of  in- 
4  creased  vigour  whatsoever,  until  a  further  appeal  had 
4  been  made  to  the  Mayor  and  Corporation  of  the  city/ 

This  appeal  was  successful.  A  proclamation,  issued  Quiet 
by  the  Mayor,  was  responded  to  by  the  respectable 
citizens  of  all  parties  ;  and  a  large  number  of  special 
constables  turned  out  to  patrol  the  streets  and  keep  the 
peace.  Meanwhile  the  coroner's  jury,  after  a  very 
rigorous  investigation,  agreed  unanimously  to  a  verdict 
acquitting  M.  Lafontaine  of  all  blame,  and  finding 
fault  with  the  civic  authorities  for  their  remissness. 
This  verdict  was  important,  for  two  of  the  jury  were 
Orangemen,  who  had  marched  in  the  procession  at  the 
funeral  of  the  young  man  who  was  shot.  The  public 
acknowledged  its  importance,  and  two  of  the  most 
violent  Tory  newspapers  had  articles  apologising  to  La- 
fontaine for  having  so  unfairly  judged  him  beforehand. 
4  From  these  and  other  indications  (wrote  Lord  Elgin) 
4 1  begin  to  hope  that  there  may  be  some  return  to 
'  common  sense  in  Montreal.' 

My  advisers,  however  (he  proceeds),  now  protest   that  it  Eemovalof 
will  be  impossible  to  maintain  the  seat  of  Government  here.  Gover?' 

A  .  .  ment  irom 

We  had  a  long  discussion  on  this  point  yesterday.     All  seem  Montreal. 
to  be  agreed,  that  if  a  removal  from  this  town  takes  place,  it 
must  be  on  the  condition  prescribed  in  the  address  of  the 

92  CANADA.  CH.  IV. 

Assembly  presented  to  me  last  Session,  viz.  that  there  shall 
henceforward  be  Parliaments  held  alternately  in  the  Upper 
and  Lower  Provinces.  A  removal  from  this  to  any  other  fixed 
point  would  be  the  certain  ruin  of  the  party  making  it. 
Therefore  removal  from  Montreal  implies  the  adoption  of  the 
system  (which,  although  it  has  a  good  deal  to  recommend  it, 
is  certainly  open  to  great  objections)  of  alternating  Parliaments. 
But  this  is  not  the  only  difficulty.  The  French  members  of 
the  Administration  ...  are  willing  to  go  to  Toronto  for 
four  years  at  the  close  of  the  present  Parliament,  but  they 
give  many  reasons,  which  appear  to  have  in  a  great  measure 
satisfied  their  Upper  Canada  colleagues,  for  insisting  on 
Quebec  as  the  first  point  to  be  made.  Now  I  have  great 
objection  to  going  to  Quebec  at  present.  I  fear  it  would  be 
considered,  both  here  and  in  England,  as- an  admission  that  the 
Government  is  under  French- Canadian  influence,  and  that  it 
cannot  maintain  itself  in  Upper  Canada.  I,  therefore,  con- 
cluded in  favour  of  a  few  days  more  being  given  in  order  to 
see  whether  or  not  the  movement  now  in  progress  in  Montreal 
may  be  so  directed  as  to  render  it  possible  to  retain  the  seat  of 
Government  there. 

This  hope  was  disappointed,  and  he  was  obliged  to 
admit  the  necessity  of  removal.  On  September  3  lie 
wrote  again: — 

We  have  had,  since  I  last  wrote,  a  week  of  unusual  tran- 
quillity. .  .  .  but  I  regret  to  say  that  I  discover  as  yet 
nothing  to  warrant  the  belief  that  the  seat  of  Government  can 
properly  remain  at  Montreal. 

The  existence  of  a  perfect  understanding  between  the  more 
outrageous  and  the  more  respectable  fractions  of  the  Tory 
party  in  the  town,  is  rendered  even  more  manifest  by  the 
readiness  with  which  the  former,  through  their  organs,  have 
yielded  to  the  latter  when  they  preached  moderation  in  good 
earnest.  Additional  proof  is  thus  furnished  of  the  extent  to 
which  the  blame  of  the  disgraceful  transactions  of  the  past 
four  months  falls  on  all.  All  attempts,  and  several  have  been 
made,  to  induce  the  Conservatives  to  unite  in  an  address, 
inviting  me  to  return  to  the  town,  have  failed ;  which  is  the 
more  significant,  because  it  is  well  known  that  the  removal  of 

1849.  KEMOVAL   FROM   MONTREAL.  93 

the  seat  of  Government  is  under  consideration,,  and  that  I  have 
deprecated  the  abandonment  of  Montreal. 

The  existence  of  a  party,  animated  by  such  sentiments, 
powerful  in  numbers  and  organisation,  and  in  the  station  of 
some  who  more  or  less  openly  join  it — owning  a  qualified 
allegiance  to  the  constitution  of  the  province — professing  to 
regard  the  Parliament  and  the  Government  as  nuisances  to  be 
tolerated  within  certain  limits  only — raising  itself  whenever 
the  fancy  seizes  it,  or  the  crisis  in  its  judgment  demands  it, 
into  an  (  imperium  in  m/?erz'0,'— renders  it,  I  fear,  extremely 
doubtful  whether  the  functions  of  Legislation  or  of  Govern- 
ment can  be  carried  on  to  advantage  in  this  city.  '  Show 
vigour  and  put  it  down,'  say  some.  You  may  and  must  put 
down  those  who  resist  the  law  when  overt  acts  are  committed. 
But  the  party  is  unfortunately  a  national  as  well  as  a  political 
one  ;  after  each  defeat  it  resumes  its  attitude  of  defiance  ;  and, 
whenever  it  comes  into  collision  with  the  authorities,  there  is 
the  risk  of  a  frightful  race  feud  being  provoked.  All  these 
dangers  are  vastly  increased  by  Montreal's  being  the  seat  of 

There  were  other  arguments  also  of  no  little  force. 
He  was  assured  that  some  Members  had  declared  that 
nothing  would  induce  them  to  come  again  to  Montreal ; 
and  he  himself  felt  that  it  must  do  great  mischief  to 
the  members  from  other  parts  of  the  Province,  to  pass 
some  months  of  each  year  in  that  '  hot-bed  of  prejudice 
and  disaffection/  Moreover,  so  long  as  Montreal  re- 
tained the  prestige  of  being  the  Metropolis,  it  was 
impossible  to  prevent  its  press  from  enjoying  a  fac- 
titious importance,  not  only  within  the  province,  but 
also  in  England  and  in  the  States,  where  it  would  be 
looked  upon  as  the  exponent  of  the  sentiments  of  the 
community  at  large. 

Ultimately,  on  November  18,  Lord  Elgin  reported 
to  the  Home  Government,  that  after  full  and  anxious 
deliberation  he  had  resolved,  on  the  advice  of  his 
Council,  to  act  on  the  recommendation  of  the  Assembly 
that  the  Legislature  should  sit  alternately  at  Toronto 
and  Quebec,  and  with  that  view  to  summon  the  Pro- 

94  CANADA.  On.  IV. 

vincial  Parliament  for  the  next  session  at  Toronto. 
This  step,  4  decided  upon  in  this  deliberate  and  unim- 
4  passioned  manner,'  gave  a  useful  lesson,  which  was  not 
lost  either  upon  Montreal  or  the  rest  of  the  Province. 
Nor  was  this  its  only  good  effect.  4  The  arrangement/ 
wrote  Lord  Grey  in  1852, 4  by  which  the  seat  of  Govern- 
4  ment  and  the  sittings  of  the  Legislature  were  fixed 
4  alternately  at  Toronto  and  Quebec,  has  contributed  not 
4  a  little  towards  removing  the  feelings  of  alienation 
4  from  each  other  of  the  inhabitants  of  French  and  of 
4  British  descent.  The  French  Canadians  have  thus  been 
4  brought  into  closer  communication  than  formerly  with 
4  the  inhabitants  of  the  Western  division  of  the  pro- 
4  vince,  and  an  increase  of  mutual  esteem  and  respect, 
4  with  the  removal  of  many  prejudices  by  which  they 
4  were  formerly  divided,  have  been  the  result  of  the 
4  two  classes  becoming  better  acquainted  with  each 
4  other.' 1 

Visit  to  While  these  arrangements  were  under  discussion,  in 
Canada  ^ne  autumn  following  the  stormy  events  above  de- 
scribed, in  spite  of  the  threats  thrown  out  by  the  ex- 
treme party,  Lord  Elgin,  after  a  progress  in  Upper 
Canada  in  which  he  was  accompanied  by  his  family, 
made  a  short  tour  in  the  Western  districts,  the  strong- 
hold of  British  feeling,  attended  only  by  one  aide-de- 
camp and  a  servant,  4  so  as  to  contradict  the  allega- 
4  tion  that  he  required  protection.'  Everywhere  he  was 
received  with  the  utmost  cordiality;  the  few  indica- 
tions of  a  different  feeling,  on  the  part  of  Orangemen 
and  others,  having  only  the  effect  of  heightening  the 
enthusiasm  with  which  he  was  greeted  by  the  majority 
of  the  population. 

1  Lord   Grey's    Colonial    Policy,  to  name  Ottawa,  the  present  capital 

&c.  i.  234.     In  1858,  however,  this  of  the  Dominion ;  and  the  selection 

1  perambulating     system  '      having  of  this  central  spot,  with  its  singu- 

proved  expensive  and  inconvenient,  lar  facilities   of  communication,  has 

the  Queen  was  asked  to  designate  a  greatly  aided  in  the   consolidation 

permanent  abode  for  the  Legislature.  of  the  province. 
Her  Majesty  was  graciously  pleased 

1849.  FORBEARANCE   OF   LORD   ELGIN,  95 

From  this  time  we  hear  no  more  of  such  disgraceful  Continued 

,  -i        -i  •  animo- 

scenes  as  it  has  been  necessary  to  record  ;  but  it  was  sides. 
long  before  the  old  i  Family -Compact '  party  forgave  the 
Governor  who  had  dared  to  be  impartial.  By  many 
kinds  of  detraction  they  sought  to  weaken  his  influence 
and  damage  his  popularity ;  detractions  probably  re- 
peated in  all  sincerity  by  many  who  were  honestly 
incapable  of  understanding  his  real  motives  for  forbear- 
ance. And  as  the  members  of  this  party,  though 
they  had  lost  their  monopoly  of  political  power,  still 
remained  the  dominant  class  in  society,  the  disparaging 
tone  which  they  set  was  taken  up  not  only  in  the 
colony  itself,  but  also  by  travellers  who  visited  it,  and 
by  them  carried  back  to  infect  opinion  in  England. 
The  result  was  that  persons  at  home,  who  had  the 
highest  appreciation  of  Lord  Elgin's  capacity  as  a 
statesman,  sincerely  believed  him  to  be  deficient  in 
nerve  and  vigour  ;  and  as  the  misapprehension  was 
one  which  he  could  not  have  corrected,  even  if  he  had 
been  aware  how  widely  it  was  spread,  it  continued  to 
exist  in  many  quarters  until  dispelled  by  the  singular 
energy  and  boldness,  amounting  almost  to  rashness, 
which  he  displayed  in  China. 

The  more  we  remember  the  vehemence  with  which  Forbear- 
these  injurious  reports  were  circulated,  the  more  re-  Lord°f 
markable   appears  the  resolution  not  to  yield   to  the  ^8[n- 
provocation  they  involved,  and   the   determination  to 
accept  the  whole  responsibility  of  the  situation  at  what- 
ever personal  cost. 

The  following  letters  are  among  those  which  disclose 
the  motives  of  his  resolute  forbearance.  The  last  of 
them,  written  to  an  intimate  friend  nearly  two  years 
later,  and  summing  up  the  feelings  with  which  he 
looked  back  on  the  struggles  of  1849,  may  close  the 
personal  records  of  this  troubled  year. 

I  do  not  at  all  wonder  that  you  should  be  disposed  to  ques-  its 
tion  the  wisdom  of  my  course  in  respect  to  Montreal ;  I  think  motlves- 

96  CANADA.  On.  IV. 

it  was  the  best  I  could  have  taken  under  the  circumstances ; 
but  I  do  not  presume  to  say  that  it  may  not  be  criticised— 
justly  criticised.  My  choice  was  not  between  a  clearly  right  and 
a  clearly  wrong  course :  how  easy  is  it  to  deal  with  such  cases, 
and  how  rare  are  they  in  life  !  But  between  several  difficulties, 
I  think  I  chose  the  least.  I  think,  too,  that  I  am  beginning  to 
reap  the  reward  of  my  policy.  I  do  not  believe  that  such 
enthusiasm  was  ever  manifested  towards  anyone  in  my  situation 
in  Canada,  as  has  been  exhibited  during  my  recent  tour.  But 
more  than  this.  I  do  not  believe  that  the  function  of  the 
Governor-General  under  constitutional  government  as  the  mo- 
derator between  parties,  the  representative  of  interests  which 
are  common  to  all  the  inhabitants  of  the  country,  as  distinct 
from  those  which  divide  them  into  parties,  was  ever  so  fully 
and  so  frankly  recognised.  Now,  I  do  not  believe  that  I  could 
have  achieved  this  if  I  had  had  blood  upon  my  hands.  I  might 
have  been  quite  as  popular,  perhaps  more  so ;  for  there  are 
many,  especially  in  Lower  Canada,  who  would  gladly  have 
seen  the  severities  of  the  law  practised  upon  those  from  whom 
they  believe  that  they  have  often  suffered  much,  unjustly. 
But  my  business  is  to  humanize — not  to  harden.  At  that 
task  I  must  labour,  through  obloquy  and  misrepresentation  if 
needs  be.  At  the  same  time  I  admit  that  I  must,  not  for  the 
miserable  purpose  of  self-glorification,  but  with  a  view  to  the 
maintenance  and  establishment  of  my  moral  influence,  recover 
the  prestige  of  personal  courage  of  which  some  here  sought 
to  deprive  me.  Before  I  have  travelled  unattended  through 
the  towns  and  villages  of  Upper  Canada,  and  met  *  the  bhoys,' 
as  they  are  called,  in  all  of  them  on  their  own  ground,  I  think 
I  shall  have  effected  this  object,  in  so  far  as  the  province  is 
concerned.  To  right  myself  in  England  will  be  more  difficult ; 
but  doubtless,  if  I  live,  the  opportunity  of  so  doing,  even 
there,  will  sooner  or  later  present  itself.  Hitherto  any  im- 
pertinences which  have  reached  me  from  the  other  side  have 
been  anonymous. 

^  believe  that  the  sentiments  expressed  in  the  newspaper 
extract  of  which  you  acknowledge  the  receipt  in  your  last, 
with  respect  to  the  merits  of  the  policy  of  forbearance  adopted 
by  me  at  the  great  crisis,  are  beginning  to  obtain  very  gene- 
rally among  the  few  who  trace  results  to  their  causes.  But 

1849.  RETROSPECT.  97 

none  can  know  what  that  crisis  was,  and  what  that  decision 
cost.  At  the  time  I  took  it,  I  stood  literally  alone.  I  alien- 
ated from  me  the  adherents  of  the  Government,  who  felt,  or 
imagined  (having  been  generally,  in  times  past,  on  the  anti- 
Government  side),  that  if  the  tables  had  been  turned — if  they 
and  not  their  adversaries  had  been  resisting  the  law  of  the 
land,  and  threatening  the  life  of  the  Queen's  representative — 
a  very  different  course  of  repressive  policy  would  have  been 
adopted.  At  the  same  time  I  gained  nothing  on  the  other 
side,  who  only  advanced  in  audacity ;  and  added  the  charge  of 
personal  cowardice  to  their  other  outrages.  At  home,  too,  I 
forfeited  much  moral  support ;  for  although  the  Government 
sustained  me  with  that  honourable  confidence  which  entitles  a 
Government  to  be  well  served,  they  were  puzzled.  The  logic 
of  the  case  was  against  me.  Lord  Grey  and  Lord  J.  Russell 
both  felt  that  either  I  was  right  or  I  was  wrong.  If  the  latter, 
I  ought  to  be  recalled  ;  if  the  former,  I  ought  to  make  the 
law  respected.  And,  lastly,  I  lost  any  chance  of  moral  support 
from  the  opinion  of  our  neighbours  in  the  States  ;  for,  like 
all  primitive  constitutionalists,  the  ideas  of  government  they 
hold  in  that  quarter  are  very  simple.  I  have  been  told  by 
Americans,  '  We  thought  you  were  quite  right ;  but  we  could 
not  understand  why  you  did  not  shoot  them  down!' 

I  do  not,  as  you  may  suppose,  often  speak  of  these  matters ; 
but  the  subject  was  alluded  to  the  other  day  by  a  person  (now 
out  of  politics,  but  who  knew  what  was  going  on  at  the  time, 
one  of  our  ablest  men),  and  he  said  to  me,  (  Yes  ;  I  see  it  all 
'  now.  You  were  right — a  thousand  times  right — though  I 
( thought  otherwise  then.  I  own  that  I  would  have  reduced 


'  Montreal  to  ashes  before  I  would  have  endured  half  what  you 
'  did ;  and,' he  added,  '  I  should  have  been  justified,  too.*  *  Yes,' 
I  answered, ( you  would  have  been  justified,  because  your  course 
'  would  have  been  perfectly  defensible  ;  but  it  would  not  have 
'  been  the  best  course.  Mine  was  a  better  one.1  And  shall 
I  tell  you  what  was  the  deep  conviction  on  my  mind,  which, 
apart  from  the  reluctance  which  I  naturally  felt  to  shed  blood 
(particularly  in  a  cause  in  which  many  who  opposed  the 
Government  were  actuated  by  motives  which,  though  much 
alloyed  with  baser  metal,  had  claims  on  my  sympathy),  con- 
firmed me  in  that  course  ?  I  perceived  that  the  mind  of  the 
British  population  of  the  province,  in  Upper  Canada  especially, 


98  CANADA.  CH.  IV. 

was  at  that  time  the  prey  of  opposing  impulses.  On  the  one 
hand,  as  a  question  of  blood  and  sensibility,  they  were  inclined 
to  go  with  the  anti-French  party  of  Lower  Canada ;  on  the 
other,  as  a  question  of  constitutional  principle,  they  felt  that 
I  was  right,  and  that  I  deserved  support.  Depend  upon  it,  if 
we  had  looked  to  bayonets  instead  of  to  reason  for  a  triumph, 
the  sensibilities  ot  the  great  body  of  which  I  speak  would  soon 
have  carried  the  day  against  their  judgment. 

And  what  is  the  result?  700,000  French  reconciled  to 
England — nt)t  because  they  are  getting  rebel  money — I  believe, 
indeed,  that  no  rebels  will  get  a  farthing ;  but  because  they 
believe  that  the  British  Governor  is  just.  ( Yes ;'  but  you 
may  say  '  this  is  purchased  by  the  alienation  of  the  British.' 
Far  from  it ;  I  took  the  whole  blame  upon  myself ;  and  I  will 
venture  to  affirm  that  the  Canadian  British  never  were  so 
loyal  as  they  are  at  this  hour ;  and,  what  is  -more  remarkable 
still,  and  more  directly  traceable  to  this  policy  of  forbearance, 
never,  since  Canada  existed,  has  party-spirit  been  more  mode- 
rate, and  the  British  and  French  races  on  better  terms  than 
they  are  now ;  and  this,  in  spite  of  the  withdrawal  of  protec- 
tion, and  of  the  proposal  to  throw  on  the  colony  many  charges 
which  the  Imperial  Government  has  hitherto  borne. 

Pardon  me  for  saying  so  much  on  this  point ;  but  f  magna 
fest  veritas.' 






THE  disturbances  which  followed  the  passing  of  the 
4  Rebellion  Losses  Bill '  have  been  described  in  the  pre- 
ceding chapter  chiefly  as  they  affected  the  person  of 
the  Governor.  But  it  may  be  truly  said  that  this  was 
the  aspect  of  them  that  gave  him  least  concern.  He 
felt,  indeed,  deeply  the  indignities  offered  to  the  Crown 
of  England  through  its  representative.  But  there  was 
some  satisfaction  in  the  reflection  that,  by  taking  on 
himself  the  whole  responsibility  of  sanctioning  the  ob- 
noxious Bill,  he  had  drawn  down  upon  his  own  head 
the  chief  violence  of'a  storm  which  might  otherwise 
have  exploded  in  a  manner  very  dangerous  to  the 
Empire.  4  I  think  I  might  say,'  he  writes,  4  with  less 
4  poetry  but  with  more  truth,  what  Lamartine  said  when 
4  they  accused  him  of  coquetting  with  the  Eouges  under 
4  the  Provisional  Government :  "  Oui,  fai  conspire  ! 
4  u  J'ai  conspire  comme  le  paratonnerre  conspire  avec  le 
4  44  nuage  pour  desarmer  la  foudre.'"  But  the  thunder-  Annex- 
cloud  was  not  entirely  disarmed;  and ^ it  burst  in  a  movement, 
direction  which  popular  passion  in  Canada  has  always 
been  too  apt  to  take,  threats  of  throwing  off  England 
and  joining  the  American  States.  As  far  back  as  March 
14,  1849,  we  find  Lord  Elgin  drawing  Lord  Grey's 
attention  to  this  subject. 

ri  2 

100  CANADA,  CH.  V. 

There  has  been  (he  writes)  a  vast  deal  of  talk  about  e  an- 
nexation,' as  is  unfortunately  always  the  case  here  when  there 
is  anything  to  agitate  the  public  mind.  If  half  the  talk  on 
this  subject  were  sincere,  I  should  consider  an  attempt  to  keep 
up  the  connection  with  Great  Britain  as  Utopian  in  the  ex- 
treme. For,  no  matter  what  the  subject  of  complaint,  or  what 
the  party  complaining ;  whether  it  be  alleged  that  the  French 
are  oppressing  the  British,  or  the  British  the  French — that 
Upper  Canada  debt  presses  on  Lower  Canada,  or  Lower 
Canada  claims  on  Upper ;  whether  merchants  be  bankrupt, 
stocks  depreciated,  roads  bad,  or  seasons  unfavourable,  annex- 
ation is  invoked  as  the  remedy  for  all  ills,  imaginary  or  real. 
A  great  deal  of  this  talk  is,  however,  bravado,  and  a  great 
deal  the  mere  product  of  thoughtlessness.  Undoubtedly  it  is 
in  some  quarters  the  utterance  of  very  sincere  convictions; 
and  if  England  will  not  make  the  sacrifices  which  are  abso- 
lutely necessary  to  put  the  colonists  here  in  as  good  a  position 
commercially  as  the  citizens  of  the  States — in  order  to  which 
free  navigation  and  reciprocal  trade  with  the  States  are  indis- 
pensable— if  not  only  the  organs  of  the  league  but  those  of 
the  Government  and  of  the  Peel  party  are  always  writing  as 
if  it  were  an  admitted  fact  that  colonies,  and  more  especially 
Canada,  are  a  burden,  to  be  endured  only  because  they  cannot 
be  got  rid  of,  the  end  may  be  nearer  at  hand  than  we  wot  of. 

In  these  sentences  we  have  the  germs  of  views  and 
feelings  which  time  only  made  clearer  and  stronger  ;— 
indignation  at  that  tendency,  so  common  in  all  minor- 
ities, to  look  abroad  for  aid  against  the  power  of  the 
majority;  faith  in  the  idea  of  Colonial  Government,  if 
based  on  principles  of  justice  and  freedom  ;  and,  as 
regards  the  particular  case  of  Canada,  the  conviction 
that  nothing  was  wanted  to  secure  her  loyalty  but  a 
removal  of  the  commercial  restrictions  which  placed  her 
at  a  disadvantage  in  competing  with  her  neighbours  of 
the  Union.  To  understand  the  scope  of  his  policy 
during  the  next  few  years,  it  will  be  necessary  to  dwell 
at  some  length  on  each  of  these  points  ;  but  for  the 
present  we  must  return  to  the  circumstances  which 
gave  occasion  to  the  letter  which  we  have  quoted. 


While  ready,  as  that  letter  shows,  to  make  every 
allowance  for  the  utterances  of  thoughtless  folly,  or  of 
well-founded  discontent  on  the  part  of  the  people,  Lord 
Elgin  felt  the  necessity  of  checking  at  once  such  de- 
monstrations on  the  part  of  paid  servants  of  the  Crown* 
Accordingly,  when  an  elaborate  manifesto  appeared  in  Manifesto. 
favour  of  '  annexation,'  bearing  the  signatures  of  several 
persons — magistrates,  Queen's  counsel,  militia  officers, 
and  others — holding  commissions  at  the  pleasure  of  the 
Crown,  he  caused  a  circular  to  be  addressed  to  all  such 
persons  with  the  view  of  ascertaining  whether  their 
names  had  been  attached  with  their  own  consent. 
Some  of  these  letters  were  answered  in  the  negative, 
some  in  the  affirmative,  and  others  by  denying  the 
right  of  the  Government  to  put  the  question,  and 
declining  to  reply  to  it.  Lord  Elgin  resolved,  with 
the  advice  of  his  executive  council,  to  remove  from 
such  offices  as  are  held  during  the  pleasure  of  the 
Crown,  the  gentlemen  who  admitted  the  genuineness 
of  their  signatures,  and  those  who  refused  to  disavow 

'  In  this  course,'  says  Lord  Grey,1  c  we  thought  it 
4  right  to  support  him ;  and  a  despatch  was  addressed  to, 
'  him  signifying  the  Queen's  approval  of  his  having  dis- 
'  missed  from  Her  service  those  who  had  signed  the 
4  address,  and  Her  Majesty's  commands  to  resist  to  the 
4  utmost  any  attempt  that  might  be  made  to  bring  about 
4  a  separation  of  Canada  from  the  British  dominions,' 
But  the  necessity  for  such  acts  of  severity  only  in^  Remedial 
creased  Lord  Elgin's  desire  to  remove  every  reasonable  measure^ 
ground  of  complaint  and  discontent  ;  to  shut  out,  as  he 
said,  the  advocates  of  annexation  from  every  plea  which 
could  grace  or  dignify  rebellion.  He  felt,  indeed,  an 
assured  confidence  that,  by  carrying  out  fearlessly  the 
principle  of  self-government,  he  had  '  cast  an  acorn  into 
time,'  which  could  not  fail  to  bring  forth  the  fruit  of 

1  Colonial  Policy,  i.  232. 

1Q2  CANADA.  CH.  V. 

political  contentment.  But,  in  the  meantime,  for  the  . 
immediate  security  of  the  connection  between  the  colony 
and  the  mother -country  he  thought,  as  we  have  already 
seen,  that  two  measures  were  indispensable,  viz.  the 
removal  of  the  existing  restrictions  on  navigation,  and 
the  establishment  of  reciprocal  free  trade  with  the 
United  States. 

Judging  after  the  event  we  may,  perhaps,  be  inclined 
to  think  that  the  importance  which  he  attached  to  the 
latter  of  these  measures  was  exaggerated ;  especially  as 
the  annexation  movement  had  died  away,  and  content, 
commercial  as  well  as  political,  had  returned  to  the 
Province  long  before  it  was  carried.  But  we  cannot 
form  a  correct  view  of  his  policy  without  giving  some 
prominence  to  a  subject  which  occupied,  for  many  years, 
so  large  a  share  of  his  thoughts  and  of  his  energies. 

Writing  to  Lord   Grey  on  November  8,   1849,  he 

The  fact  is,  that  although  both  the  States  and  Canada 
export  to  the  same  neutral  market,  prices  on  the  Canada  side 
of  the  line  are  lower  than  on  the  American,  by  the  amount  of 
the  duty  which  the  Americans  levy.  So  long  as  this  state  of 
things  continues  there  will  be  discontent  in  this  country  ;  deep, 
growing  discontent.  You  will  not,  I  trust,  accuse  me  of  hav- 
ing deceived  you  on  this  point.  I  have  always  said  that  I  am 
prepared  to  assume  the  responsibility  of  keeping  Canada  quiet, 
with  a  much  smaller  garrison  than  we  have  now,  and  without 
any  tax  on  the  British  consumer  in  the  shape  of  protection  to 
Canadian  products,  if  you  put  our  trade  on  as  good  a  footing 
as  that  of  our  American  neighbours ;  but  if  things  remain  on 
their  present  footing  in  this  respect,  there  is  nothing  before  us 
but  violent  agitation,  ending  in  convulsion  or  annexation.  It 
is  better  that  I  should  worry  you  with  my  importunity,  than 
that  I  should  be  chargeable  with  having  neglected  to  give  you 
due  warning.  You  have  a  great  opportunity  before  you — 
4  Eeci-  obtain  reciprocity  for  us,  and  I  venture  to  predict  that  you 
procity.'  will  be  able  shortly  to  point  to  this  hitherto  turbulent  colony 


1849.  REMEDIAL   MEASURES.  103 

with  satisfaction,  in  illustration  of  the  tendency  of  self-govern- 
ment and  freedom  of  trade,  to  beget  contentment  and  material 
progress.  Canada  will  remain  attached  to  England,  though 
tied  to  her  neither  by  the  golden  links  of  protection,  nor  by 
the  meshes  of  old-fashioned  colonial  office  jobbing  and  chicane. 
But  if  you  allow  the  Americans  to  withhold  the  boon  which 
you  have  the  means  of  extorting  if  you  will,  I  much  fear  that 
the  closing  period  of  the  connection  between  Great  Britain  and 
Canada  will  be  marked  by  incidents  which  will  damp  the  ardour 
of  those  who  desire  to  promote  human  happiness  by  striking 
shackles  either  off  commerce  or  off  men. 

Even  when  tendering  to  the  Premier,  Lord  John 
Kussell,  his  formal  thanks  on  being  raised  to  the 
British  peerage — an  honour  which,  coming  at  that 
moment,  he  prized  most  highly  as  a  proof  to  the  world 
that  the  Queen's  Government  approved  his  policy — he 
could  not  forego  the  opportunity  of  insisting  on  a  topic 
which  seemed  to  him  so  momentous. 

It  is  (he  writes)  of  such  vital  importance  that  your  Lordship 
should  rightly  apprehend  the  nature  of  these  difficulties,  and 
the  state  of  public  opinion  in  Canada  at  this  conjuncture, 
that  I  venture,  at  the  hazard  of  committing  an  indiscretion,  to 
add  a  single  observation  on  this  head.  Let  me  then  assure 
your  Lordship,  and  I  speak  advisedly  in  offering  this  assurance, 
that  the  disaffection  now  existing  in  Canada,  whatever  be  the 
forms  with  which  it  may  clothe  itself,  is  due  mainly  to  com- 
mercial causes.  1  do  not  say  that  there  is  no  discontent  on 
political  grounds.  Powerful  individuals  and  even  classes  of 
men  are,  I  am  well  aware,  dissatisfied  with  the  conduct  of 
affairs.  But  I  make  bold  to  affirm  that  so  general  is  the  belief 
that,  under  the  present  circumstances  of  our  commercial  con- 
dition, the  colonists  pay  a  heavy  pecuniary  fine  for  their  fidelity 
to  Great  Britain,  that  nothing  but  the  existence  to  an  unwonted 
degree  of  political  contentment  among  the  masses  has  prevented 
the  cry  for  annexation  from  spreading,  like  wildfire,  through 
the  Province.  This,  as  your  Lordship  will  perceive,  is  a  new 
feature  in  Canadian  politics.  The  plea  of  self-interest,  the 
most  powerful  weapon,  perhaps,  which  .the  friends  of  British 
connection  have  wielded  in  times  past,  has  not  only  been 

104  CANADA.  OH.  V. 

wrested  from  my  hands,  but  transferred  since  1846  to  those  of 
the  adversary.  I  take  the  liberty  of  mentioning  a  fact,  which 
seems  better  to  illustrate  the  actual  condition  of  affairs  in  these 
respects  than  many  arguments.  I  have  lately  spent  several 
weeks  in  the  district  of  Niagara.  Canadian  Niagara  is  separated 
from  the  state  of  New  York  by  a  narrow  stream,  spanned  by 
a  bridge,  which  it  takes  a  foot  passenger  about  three  minutes  to 
cross.  The  inhabitants  are  for  the  most  part  U.  E.  loyalists,1 
and  differ  little  in  habits  or  modes  of  thought  and  expression 
from  their  neighbours.  Wheat  is  their  staple  product — the 
article  which  they  exchange  for  foreign  comforts  and  luxuries. 
Now  it  is  the  fact  that  a  bushel  of  wheat,  grown  on  the  Cana- 
dian side  of  the  line,  has  fetched  this  year  in  the  market,  on 
an  average,  from  9d.  to  Is.  less  than  the  same  quantity  and 
quality  of  the  same  article  grown  on  the  other.  Through 
their  district  council,  a  body  elected  under  a  system  of  very 
extended  suffrage,  these  same  inhabitants  of  Niagara  have 
protested  against  the  Montreal  annexation  movement.  They 
have  done  so  (and  many  other  district  councils  in  Upper 
Canada  have  done  the  same)  under  the  impression  that  it  would 
be  base  to  declare  against  England  at  a  moment  when  Eng- 
land has  given  a  signal  proof  of  her  determination  to  concede 
constitutional  Government  in  all  its  plenitude  to  Canada.  I 
am  confident,  however,  that  the  large  majority  of  the  persons 
who  have  thus  protested,  firmly  believe  that  their  annexation 
to  the  United  States  would  add  one-fourth  to  the  value  of  the 
produce  of  their  farms. 

I  need  say  no  more  than  this  to  convince  your  Lordship,  that 
while  this  state  of  things  subsists  (and  I  much  fear  that  no 
measure  but  the  establishment  of  reciprocal  trade  between 
Canada  and  the  States,  or  the  imposition  of  a  duty  on 
the  produce  of  the  States  when  imported  into  England,  will 
remove  it),  arguments  will  not  be  wanting  to  those  who  seek 
to  seduce  Canadians  from  their  allegiance. 

Shortly  afterwards  he  writes  to  Lord  Grey  : — 

It  is  not  for  me  to  dispute  the  point  with  free-traders,  when 
they  allege  that  all  parts  of  the  Empire  are  suffering  from  the 
effects  of  free-trade,  and  that  Canadians  must  take  their  chance 

J  '  United  Empire  Loyalists/  i.e.  descendants  of  the  original  Loyalists 
of  the  American  War. 

1849.  FREE-TRADE.  105 

with  others.  But  I  must  be  permitted  to  remark,  that  the 
Canadian  case  differs  from  others,  both  as  respects  the  imme- 
diate cause  of  the  suffering,  and  still  more  as  respects  the 
means  which  the  sufferers  possess  of  finding  for  themselves  a 
way  of  escape.  As  to  the  former  point  I. have  only  to  say  that, 
however  severe  the  pressure  in  other  cases  attendant  on  the 
transition  from  protection  to  free-trade,  there  is  none  which 
presents  so  peculiar  a  specimen  of  legislative  legerdemain  as 
the  Canadian,  where  an  interest  was  created  in  1843  by  a 
Parliament  in  which  the  parties  affected  had  no  voice,  only  to 
be  knocked  down  by  the  same  Parliament  in  1846.  But  it  is 
the  latter  consideration  which  constitutes  the  specialty  of  the 
Canadian  case.  What  in  point  of  fact  can  the  other  suffering 
interests,  of  which  the  Times  writes,  do  ?  There  may  be  a 
great  deal  of  grumbling,  and  a  gradual  move  towards  repub- 
licanism, or  even  communism ;  but  this  is  an  operose  and 
empirical  process,  the  parties  engaged  in  it  are  full  of  mis- 
givings, and  their  ranks  at  every  step  in  advance  are  thinned 
by  desertion.  Not  so  with  the  Canadians.  The  remedy  offered 
to  them,  such  as  it  is,  is  perfectly  definite  and  intelligible. 
They  are  invited  to  form  a  part  of  a  community,  which  is 
neither  suffering  nor  free- trading,  which  never  makes  a  bargain 
without  getting  at  least  twice  as  much  as  it  gives ;  a  com- 
munity, the  members  of  -which  have  been  within  the  last 
few  weeks  pouring  into  their  multifarious  places  of  worship, 
to  thank  God  that  they  are  exempt  from  the  ills  which 
afflict  other  men,  from  those  more  especially  which  afflict 
their  despised  neighbours,  the  inhabitants  of  North  America, 
who  have  remained  faithful  to  the  country  which  planted 

Now,  I  believe,  that  if  these  facts  be  ignored,  it  is  quite 
impossible  to  understand  rightly  the  present  state  of  opinion 
in  Canada,  or  to  determine  wisely  the  course  which  the  British 
Government  and  Parliament  ought  to  pursue.  It  may  suit 
the  policy  of  the  English  free-trade  press  to  represent  the 
difficulties  of  Canada  as  the  consequence  of  having  a  fool  for  a 
Governor-General ;  but,  if  it  be  permitted  me  to  express  an 
opinion  on  a  matter  of  so  much  delicacy,  I  venture  to  doubt 
whether  it  would  be  safe  to  act  on  this  hypothesis.  My  con- 
viction 011  the  contrary  is,  that  motives  of  self-interest  of  a 
very  gross  and  palpable  description  are  suggesting  treasonable 

106  CANADA.  CH.  V. 

courses  to  the  Canadian  mind  at  present,  and  that  it  is  a 
political  sentiment,  a  feeling  of  gratitude  for  what  has  been 
done  and  suffered  this  year  in  the  cause  of  Canadian  self- 
government,  which  is  neutralising  these  suggestions. 

Again,  on  December  29, 1849,  he  writes  as  follows  :— 

Free  navi-  I  believe  that  the  operation  of  the  free  navigation  system 
will  be  what  you  anticipate,  to  a  great  extent  at  least,  and  that 
it  will  tend  materially  to  equalise  prices  on  the  two  sides  of  the 
line.  At  the  same  time  I  do  think,  that  there  are  circum- 
stances in  this  country  which  falsify,  in  some  degree,  the 
deductions  at  which  one  arrives  from  reasoning  founded  on  the 
abstract  principles  of  political  economy.  One  of  these  circum- 
stances is  the  power  which  the  farmers  in  the  Western  States, 
having  no  rents  to  pay,  have  of  holding  back  their  grain 
when  prices  do  not  suit  them.  You  must  have  observed  what 
hoards  they  poured  forth  when  they  were  tempted  by  the 
famine  prices  of  1847  ;  and  I  cannot  but  think  that  this  power 
of  hoarding,  coupled  with  an  indifferent  harvest,  must  account 
for  the  great  disparity  of  price,  which  has  obtained  during 
the  course  of  the  present  year  in  the  New  York  market  for 
bonded  grain,  and  grain  for  the  home  consumption.  I  fully 
expect,  however,  to  see  the  price  of  Canadian  grain,  bonded  at 
New  York,  rise,  now -that  it  can  be  exported  to  Liverpool  in 
the  New  York  liners,  which  will  carry  it  for  ballast.  Never- 
theless, I  think  that  Sir  Eobert  Peel's  dictum  with  respect  to 
the  Repeal  of  the  Corn  Laws,  on  the  day  on  which  he  retired 
last  from  office,  when  he  observed  that  thenceforward,  even 
when  the  poor  suffered  from  the  high  price  of  bread,  they 
would  not  ascribe  that  suffering  to  the  fact  of  their  bread 
being  taxed,  applies  with  at  least  equal  force  to  the  recipro- 
city question  as  affecting  the  Canadian  farmers.  For  sure  am 
I  that,  so  long  as  there  is  a  duty  on  their  produce  when  it 
enters  the  States,  and  none  on  the  introduction  of  United 
States  produce  into  England,  they  will  ascribe  to  this  cause 
alone  the  differences  of  price  that  may  occasionally  rule  to 
their  disadvantage. 

The  history  of  the  two  measures  which  Lord  Elgin 
so  Ardently  desired,  and  which  in  the  foregoing  and 

1849—1853.  RECIPROCITY.  107 

many  similar  letters  he  so  urgently  pressed,  was  emi- 
nently characteristic  of  the  two  Legislatures,  through 
which  they  had  respectively  to  be  carried. 

In  England,  the  repeal  of  restrictive  Navigation  Laws  Repeal  of 
was  contended  for  by  thoughtful  statesmen  on  grounds 
of  public  policy.  The  protective  and  conservative  in- 
stincts of  the  old  country,  fortified  by  the  never-absent 
spirit  of  party,  resisted  the  change.  When  fairly  beaten 
by  force  of  argument  in  the  House  of  Commons,  they 
entrenched  themselves  in  the  House  of  Lords  ;  and  it 
was  only  after  a  hot  struggle  that  the  Act  was  passed 
in  June  1849,  of  which  one  effect  was,  by  lowering 
freights,  to  increase  the  profits  of  the  Canadian  trade  in 
wheat  and  timber,  and  thus  to  advance,  in  a  very  im- 
portant degree,  the  commercial  prosperity  of  the 

The  delays  which  retarded  the  settlement  of  the  Reci 
Reciprocity  Treaty  were  due  to  causes  of  another  kind.  cltyTreaty- 
The  difficulty  was  to  induce  the  American  Congress  to 
pay  any  attention  at  all  to  the  subject.  In  the  vast 
multiplicity  of  matters  with  which  that  Assembly  has 
to  deal,  it  is  said  that  no  cause  which  does  not  appeal 
strongly  to  a  national  sentiment,  or  at  least  to  some 
party  feeling,  has  a  chance  of.  obtaining  a  hearing, 
unless  it  is  taken  up  systematically  by  'organizers' 
outside  the  House.  The  Reciprocity  Bill  was  not  a 
measure  about  which  any  national  or  even  party  feeling 
could  be  aroused.  It  was  one  which  required  much 
study  to  understand  its  bearings,  and  which  would 
affect  different  interests  in  the  country  in  different 
ways.  It  stood,  therefore,  especially  in  need  of  the 
aid  of  professional  organizers  ;  a  kind  of  aid  of  which 
it  was  of  course  impossible  that  either  the  British  or 
the  Canadian  Government  should  avail  itself.  Session 
after  session  the  Bill  was  proposed,  scarcely  debated, 

108  CANADA.  CH.  V. 

and  set  aside.  At  last,  in  1854,  after  the  negotiations 
had  dragged  on  wearily  for  more  than  six  years,  Lord 
Elgin  himself  was  sent  to  Washington  in  the  hope — c  a 
'  forlorn  hope,1  as  it  seemed  to  those  who  sent  him — of 
bringing  the  matter  to  a  successful  issue.  It  was  his 
first  essay  in  diplomacy,  but  made  under  circumstances 
unusually  favourable.  He  was  personally  popular  with 
the  Americans,  towards  whom  he  had  always  entertained 
and  shown  a  most  friendly  feeling.  They  appreciated, 
moreover,  better  perhaps  than  it  was  appreciated  at 
home,  the  consummate  ability,  as  well  as  the  rare 
strength  of  character,  which  he  had  displayed  in  the 
government  of  Canada  ;  and  the  prestige  thus  attach- 
ing to  his  name,  joined  to  the  influence  of  his  presence, 
and  his  courtesy  and  bonhomie,  enabled  him  in  a  few 
days  to  smooth  all  difficulties,  and  change  apathy 
into  enthusiasm.  Within  a  few  weeks  from  the  time 
of  his  landing  he  had  agreed  with  Mr.  Marcy  upon 
the  terms  of  a  Treaty  of  Reciprocity,  which  soon  after- 
wards received  the  sanction  of  all  the  Governments 

The  main  concessions  made  by  the  Provinces  to  the 
United  States  in  this  treaty  were,  (1)  the  removal  of 
duties  on  the  introduction,  for  consumption  in  the  Pro- 
vinces, of  certain  products  of  the  States;  (2)  the  ad- 
mission of  citizens  of  that  country  to  the  enjoyment  of 
the  in-shore  sea-fishery  ;  (3)  the  opening-up  to  their 
vessels  of  the  St.  Lawrence  and  canals  pertaining 

A  good  deal  of  misconception  prevailed  at  the  time  as 
to  the  amount  of  the  concession  made  under  the  second 
head.  ^  The  popular  impression  on  this  point  was,  that  a 
gigantic  monopoly  was  about  to  be  surrendered;  but 
this  was  far  from  being  the  case.  The  citizens  of  the 
United  States  had  already,  under  the  Convention  of 
1818,  access  to  the  most  important  cod-fisheries  on  the 
British  coasts.  The  new  treaty  maintained  in  favour  of 

1850—1854.  DUTY   OF  MINORITIES.  109 

British  subjects  the  monopoly  of  the  river  and  fresh- 
water fisheries  ;  and  the  concession  which  it  made  to  the 
citizens  of  the  United  States  amounted  in  substance  to 
this,  that  it  admitted  them  to  a  legal  participation  in 
the  mackerel  and  herring  fisheries,  from  illegal  en- 
croachments on  which  it  had  been  found,  after  the 
experience  of  many  years,  practically  impossible  to 
exclude  them.1 

The  duration  of  the  Treaty  was  limited  to  ten  years, 
and  has  not  been  extended  ;  but  it  is  not  too  much 
to  hope  that  it  has  had  some  effect  in  engendering 
feelings  of  friendliness,  and  of  community  of  interest, 
which  may  long  outlast  itself. 

It  has  been  already  noticed  that  the  4  annexation 
movement '  of  1849  died  away  without  serious  conse-  ment. 
quences  ;  and  extracts  which  have  been  given  above 
sufficiently  show  to  what  cause  Lord  Elgin  attributed 
its  extinction.  The  powerful  attraction  of  the  great 
neighbouring  republic  had  been  counteracted  and  over- 
come by  the  more  powerful  attraction  of  self-govern-  / 
ment  at  home.  The  centrifugal  force  was  no  longer 
equal  to  the  centripetal.  To  create  this  state  of  feeling 
had  been  his  most  cherished  desire;  to  feel  that  he  had 
succeeded  in  creating  it  was,  throughout  much  obloquy 
and  misunderstanding,  his  greatest  support. 

From  the  earliest  period  of  his  entrance  into  political  Duty  of 
life  he  had  always  had  the  strongest  sense  of  the  duty 
incumbent  on  every  public  man  of  supporting,  even  in 
opposition,  the  authority  of  Government.  The  bitterest 
reproach  which  he  cast  upon  the  Whigs,  in  his  first 
Tory  <  Letter  to  the  Electors  of  Great  Britain '  in  1835, 
was  that  when  they  found  they  could  not  carry  on  the 
government  themselves,  they  tried  to  make  it  impos- 
sible for  any  other  party  to  do  so.  Nor  was  he  less 

1  Despatch  of  the  Earl  of  Elgin,  Dec.  18,  1854. 

110  CANADA.  CH.  V. 

severe,  on  another  occasion,  in  his  reprehension  of  4  a 
'  certain  high  Tory  clique  who  are  always  cavilling  at 
4  royalty  when  it  is  constitutional;  circulating  the  most 
4  miserable  gossip  about  royal  persons  and  royal  enter- 
4  tainments/  &c. ;  busily  '  engaged  in  undermining  the 
'  foundations  on  which  respect  for  human  institutions 
'  rests.'  Writing,  in  May  1850,  to  Mr.  Gumming  Bruce, 
a  Tory  and  Protectionist,  he  said — 

I  shall  not  despair  for  England  whether  Free-traders  or  Pro- 
tectionists be  in  the  ascendant,  unless  I  see  that  the  faction 
out  of  power  abet  the  endeavours  of  those  who  would  make 
the  Government  of  the  country  contemptible.  Read  Mont- 
alembert's  speeches.  They  are  very  eloquent  and  instructive. 
He  had  as  full  a  faith  in  his  religion,  and  what  he  considered 
due  to  his  religion,  as  you  can  have  in  your  Corn  Laws.  Yet 
observe  how  bitterly  he  now  repents  having  aided  those  who 
have  undermined  in  the  French  public  all  respect  for  authority 
and  the  powers  that  be. 

If  all  that  your  Protectionist  friends  want  to  do  is  to  put 
themselves,  or  persons  in  whom  they  have  greater  confidence 
than  the  present  Ministry,  in  office,  their  object  is,  I  confess, 
a  perfectly  legitimate  one.  What  I  complain  of  is  the  system 
of  what  is  termed  damaging  the  Government,  when  resorted 
to  by  those  who  have  no  such  purpose  in  view;  or  at  least  no 
honest  intention  of  assuming  responsibilities  which  they  are 
endeavouring  to  render  intolerable  to  those  who  are  charged 
with  them. 

But  if  tllis  '  Political  profligacy  '  was,  in  his  judg- 
ment,  the  bane  of  party  government  at  home,  a  still 
stronger  but,  perhaps,  more  excusable  tendency  to  it 
threatened  to  defeat  the  object  of  responsible  govern- 
ment in  Canada.  Accustomed  to  look  abroad  for  the 
source  and  centre  of  power,  a  beaten  minority  in  the 
Colonial  Parliament,  instead  of  loyally  accepting  its 
position,  was  never  without  a  hope  of  wresting  the 
victory  from  its  opponents,  either  by  an  appeal  to 
opinion  in  the  mother-country,  always  ill-informed, 

1850—1853.  DUTY   OF   MINORITIES.  Ill 

and   therefore  credulous,  in  matters  of  colonial  politics, 
or  else  by  raising  a  cry  of  *  separation,'  or  4  annexation.' 

The  evil  effects  of  this  state  of  things   need  hardly 
be  pointed  out.     On  the  one  hand  the  constant  refer- 
ence to  opinion  in  England,  not  in  the  shape  of  consti- 
tutional appeal  but  by  ex-parte  statements,  produced  a 
state  of  chronic  irritation  against  the  mother- country. 
c  There  is  nothing,'  wrote  Lord  Elgin,  '  which  makes 
'  the  colonial  statesman  so  jealous  as  rescripts  from  the 
'  Colonial  Office,  suggested  by  the   representations  of 
4  provincial  cliques  or  interests,  who  ought,  as  he  con- 
4  tends,  to  bow  before  the  authorities  of  Government 
'  House,  Montreal,  rather  than  those  of  Downing  Street.' 
On  the  other  hand  it  was  not  easy  to  know  how  to  deal 
with  politicians  who  did  not  profess  to  own  more  than 
a  qualified  and  provisional  ah1  egiance  to  the  constitution 
of  the  Province  and  the  Crown  of  England.     The  one} 
hope  in  both  cases  was  to  foster  a  *  national  and  manly  C 
tone '  of  political  morals  ;  to  lead  all  parties  alike  to  1 
look  to  their  own  Parliament,  and  neither  to  the  London  \ 
press  nor  the  American  hustings,  for  the  solution  of  all^) 
problems  of  Provincial  government. 

But  while  thus  zealously  defending  the  fortress  of 
British  connection  committed  to  his  care,  Lord  Elgin  was 
dismayed  to  find  that  its  walls  were  crumbling  round 
him,  undermined  by  the  operations  of  his  own  friends ; 
that  there  had  arisen  at  home  a  school  of  philosophic 
statesmen,  strong  in  their  own  ability,  and  strengthened 
by  the  support  of  the  Radical  economists,  according 
to  whom  it  was  to  be  expected  and  desired  that  every 
colony  enjoying  constitutional  government  should  aim 
at  emancipating  itself  entirely  from  allegiance  to  the 
mother-country,  and  forming  itself  into  an  independent 
Republic.  With  such  views  he  had  no  sympathy.  The 
*  Sparta '  which  had  fallen  to  his  lot  was  the  position  of 
a  colonial  governor,  and  that  position  he  felt  it  his 
duty  to  c  adorn  '  and  to  maintain.  Moreover,  believing 

112  CANADA.  CH.  V. 

firmly  in  the  vitality  of  the  monarchical  principle,  as 
well  as  in  its  value,  he  contended  that  it  is  an  error  to 
suppose  that  a  constitutional  monarchy,  in  proportion 
as  it  becomes  more  liberal,  tends  towards  republicanism ; 
and  further,  that  if  such  tendency  existed  it  would  be 
retrograde  rather  than  progressive. 

The  views  of  Colonial  Government,  its  objects  and 
its  difficulties,  which  have  been  here  briefly  epitomised, 
are  displayed  in  full  in  the  following  letters,  together 
with  a  variety  of  opinions  on  kindred  topics.  They  are 
given  as  characteristic  of  Lord  Elgin ;  but  they  may, 
perhaps,  have  an  interest  of  their  own,  as  bearing  on 
important  questions  which  still  await  solution. 

To  the  Earl  Grey. 

November  16,  1849. 

Mainten-         Very  much,  as  respects  the  result  of  this  annexation  move- 

anceof        ment,  depends  upon  what  you  do  at  home.     I  cannot  say  what 

connection,  the  effect  may  be  if  the   British  Government  and  press  are 

lukewarm  on  the  subject.     The  annexationists  will  take  heart, 

but  in  a  tenfold  greater  degree  the  friends  of  the  connection 

will  be  discouraged.     If  it  be  admitted  that  separation  must 

take  place,  sooner  or  later,  the  argument  in  favour  of  a  present 

move  seems  to  be  almost  irresistible.     I  am  prepared  to  con- 

\tend  that  with  responsible  government,  fairly  worked  out 
with  free-trade,  there  is  no  reason  why  the  colonial  relation 
should  not  be  indefinitely  maintained.  But  look  at  my  present 
difficulty,  which  may  be  increased  beyond  calculation,  if  in- 
discreet expressions  be  made  use  of  during  the  present  crisis. 
The  English  Government  thought  it  necessary,  in  order  to 
give  moral  support  to  their  representative  in  Ireland,  to  assert 
in  the  most  solemn  manner  that  the  Crown  never  would  consent 
to  the  severance  of  the  Union ;  although,  according  to  the 
O'Connell  doctrine,  the  allegiance  to  the  Crown  of  the  Irish 
was  to  be  unimpaired  notwithstanding  such  severance.  But 
when  I  protest  against  Canadian  projects  for  dismembering 
the  empire,  I  am  always  told  '  the  most  eminent  statesmen  in 
'  England  have  over  and  over  again  told  us,  that  whenever  we 
'  chose  we  might  separate.  Why,  then,  blame  us  for  discussing 
'  the  subject  ?  ' 

1850—1853.       VIEWS   ON   COLONIAL'  GOVERNMENT.  113 

To  the  Earl  Grey. 

January  14,  1850. 

I  am  certainly  less  sanguine  than  I  was  as  to  the  probability 
of  retaining  the  colonies  under  free-trade.  I  speak  not  now 
of  the  cost  of  their  retention,  for  I  have  no  doubt  but  that,  if 
all  parties  concerned  were  honest,  expenses  might  be  gradually 
reduced.  I  am  sure  also  that  when  free-trade  is  fairly  in 
operation  it  will  be  found  that  more  has  been  gained  by  re- 
moving the  causes  of  irritation  which  were  furnished  by  the 
constant  tinkering  incident  to  a  protective  system,  than  has 
been  lost  by  severing  the  bonds  by  which  it  tied  the  mother- 
country  and  the  colonies  together.  What  I  fear  is,  that 

.„  .          ?.   i  .  .  ,    '      „     interests 

when  the  mystification  in  which  certain  questions  ot  self-  the  sport  of 
interest  were  involved  by  protection  is  removed,  factions  both  home 
at  home  and  in  the  colonies  will  be  more  reckless  than  ever  in 
hazarding  for  party  objects  the  loss  of  the  colonies.1  Our 
system  depends  a  great  deal  more  on  the  discretion  with  which 
it  is  worked  than  the  American,  where  each  power  in  the 
state  goes  habitually  the  full  length  of  its  tether :  Congress, 
the  State  legislatures,  Presidents,  Governors,  all  legislating 
and  vetoing,  without  stint  or  limit,  till  pulled  up  short  by  a 
judgment  of  the  Supreme  Court.  With  us  factions  in  the 
colonies  are  clamorous  and  violent,  with  the  hope  of  producing 
effect  on  the  Imperial  Parliament  and  Government,  just  in 
proportion  to  their  powerlessness  at  home.  The  history  of 
Canada  during  the  past  year  furnishes  ample  evidence  of  this 
truth.  Why  was  there  so  much  violence  on  the  part  of  the 
opposition  here  last  summer,  particularly  against  the  Governor- 
General?  Because  it  felt  itself  to  be  weak  in  the  province, 
and  looked  for  success  to  the  effect  it  could  produce  in  England 

And  how  is  this  tendency  to  bring  the  Imperial  and  Local 
Parliaments  into  antagonism,  a  tendency  so  dangerous  to  the 
permanence  of  our  system,  to  be  counteracted  ?  By  one  expe- 
dient as  it  appears  to  me  only ;  namely,  by  the  Governor's 

1  Compare    Junius  :  —  l  Unfortu-  '  were  in  opposition.     Their  declara- 

1  nately  for  his  country,  Mr.  Grenville  *  tion  gave  spirit  and  argument  to  the 

'  was  at   any  rate   to  be  distressed,  '  Colonies  j  and  while,  perhaps,  they 

1  because  he  was  Minister ;  and  Mr.  '  meant  no  'more  than  the  ruin  of  a 

'  Pitt  and  Lord  Camden  were  to  be  '  Minister,  they  in  effect  divided  one 

'  the  patrons  of  Auierica^because  they  '  half  of  the  empire  from  the  other.' 



Cn.  V. 

acting  with  some  assumption  of  responsibility ,  so  that  the  shafts 
of  the  enemy,  which  are  intended  for  the  Imperial  Govern- 
ment, may  fall  on  him.  If  a  line  of  demarcation  between  the 
questions  with  which  the  Local  Parliaments  can  deal  and  those 
which  are  reserved  for  the  Imperial  authority  could  be  drawn, 
(as  was  recommended  last  session  by  the  Radicals),  it  might 
be  different ;  but,  as  it  is,  I  see  nothing  for  it  but  that 
the  Governors  should  be  responsible  for  the  share  which  the 
Imperial  Government  may  have  in  the  policy  carried  out  in 
the  responsible-government  colonies,  with  the  liability  to  be 
recalled  and  disavowed  whenever  the  Imperial  authorities 
think  it  expedient  to  repudiate  such  policy. 

tion of 

To  the  Duke  of  Newcastle. 

Quebec:  February  18,  1853. 

Now  that  the  bonds  formed  by  commercial  protection  and 
the  disposal  of  local  offices  are  severed,  it  is  very  desirable  that 
the  prerogative  of  the-  Crown,  as  the  fountain  of  honour, 
should  be  employed,  in  so  far  as  this  can  properly  be  done,  as 
a  means  of  attaching  the  outlying  parts  of  the  empire  to  the 
throne.  Of  the  soundness  of  this  proposition  as  a  general 
principle  no  doubt  can,  I  presume,  be  entertained.  It  is  not, 
indeed,  always  easy  to  apply  it  in  these  communities,  where 
fortunes  are  precarious,  the  social  system  so  much  based  on 
equality,  and  public  services  so  generally  mixed  up  with  party 
conflicts.  But  it  should  never,  in  my  opinion,  be  lost  sight  of, 
and  advantage  should  be  taken  of  all  favourable  opportunities 
to  act  upon  it. 

There  are  two  principles  which  ought,  I  think,  as  a  general 
rule  to  be  attended  to  in  the  distribution  of  Imperial  honours 
among  colonists.  Firstly,  they  should  appear  to  emanate 
directly  from  the  Crown,  on  the  advice,  if  you  will,  of  the 
Governors  and  Imperial  Ministers,  but  not  on  the  recommend 
ation  of  the  local  executives.  And,  secondly,  they  should  be 
conferred,  as  much  as  possible,  on  the  eminent  persons  who 
are  no  longer  actively  engaged  in  political  life.  If  these  prin- 
ciples be  neglected,  such  distinctions  will,  I  fear,  soon  lose 
their  value. 

1850—1853.  NO   SEPARATION!  115 

To  the  Earl  Grey. 

Toronto  :  March  23,  1850. 
Lord  John's  speech  on  the  colonies  seems  to  have  been  Speech  of 
eminently  successful  at  home.  It  is  calculated  too,  I  think,  to 
do  good  in  the  colonies  ;  but  for  one  sentence,  the  introduction 
of  which  I  deeply  deplore — the  sting  in  the  tail.  Alas  for 
that  sting  in  the  tail !  I  much  fear  that  when  the  liberal  and 
enlightened  sentiments,  the  enunciation  of  which  by  one  so 
high  in  authority  is  so  well  calculated  to  make  the  colonists 
sensible  of  the  advantages  which  they  derive  from  their  con- 
nection with  Great  Britain,  shall  have  passed  away  from  their 
memories,  there  will  not  be  wanting  those  who  will  remind 
them  that,  on  this  solemn  occasion,  the  Prime  Minister  of  Eng- 
land, amid  the  plaudits  of  a  full  senate,  declared  that  he  looked 
forward  to  the  day  when  the  ties  which  he  was  endeavouring 
to  render  so  easy  and  mutually  advantageous  would  be  severed,  s 
And  wherefore  this  foreboding  ?  or,  perhaps,  I  ought  not  to 
use  the  term  foreboding,  for  really  to  judge  by  the  comments 
of  the  press  on  this  declaration  of  Lord  John's,  I  should  be 
led  to  imagine  that  the  prospect  of  these  sucking  democracies, 
after  they  have  drained  their  old  mother's  life-blood,  leaving 
her  in  the  lurch,  and  setting  up  as  rivals,  just  at  the  time  when 
their  increasing  strength  might  render  them  a  support  instead 
of  a  burden,  is  one  of  the  most  cheering  which  has  of  late 
presented  itself  to  the  English  imagination.  But  wherefore 
then  this  anticipation — if  foreboding  be  not  the  correct  term  ? 
Because  Lord  John  and  the  people  of  England  persist  in  i 
assuming  that  the  Colonial  relation  is  incompatible  with  ma- 
turity and  full  development.  And  is  this  really  so  incontestable 
a  truth  that  it  is  a  duty  not  only  to  hold  but  to  proclaim  it  ? 
Consider  for  a  moment  what  is  the  effect  of  proclaiming  it  in 
our  case.  We  have  on  this  continent  two  great  empires  in 
presence,  or  rather,  I  should  say,  two  great  Imperial  systems. 
In  many  respects  there  is  much  similarity  between  them.  In 
so  far  as  powers  of  self-government  are  concerned  it  is  certain 
that  our  colonists  in  America  have  no  reason  to  envy  the 
citizens  of  any  state  in  the  Union.  The  forms  differ,  but  it 
may  be  shown  that  practically  the  inhabitants  of  Canada  have 
a  greater  power  in  controlling  their  own  destiny  than  those  of 
Michigan  or  New  York,  who  must  tolerate  a  tariff  imposed  by 
twenty  other  states,  arid  pay  the  expenses  of  war  undertaken 

i  2 


for  objects  which  they  profess  to  abhor.     And  yet  there  is  a 
difference  between  the  two  cases ;  a  difference,  in  my  humble 
judgment,  of  sentiment  rather  than  substance,  which  renders 
the&one  a  system  of  life  and  strength,  and  the  other  a  system 
of  death  and  decay.     No  matter  how  raw  and  rude  a  territory 
may  be  when  it  is  admitted  as  a  state  into  the  Union   of  the 
United  States,  it  is  at  once,  by  the  popular  belief,  invested  with 
all  the  dignity  of  manhood,  and  introduced  into  a  system  which, 
despite  the  combativeness  of  certain  ardent  spirits  from  the 
South,  every  American  believes  and  maintains  to  be  immortal. 
"But  how  does  the  case  stand  with  us  ?     No  matter  how  great 
the  advance  of  a  British  colony  in  wealth  and  civilisation ;  no 
matter  how  absolute  the  powers  of  self-government  conceded 
to  it,  it  is  still  taught  to  believe  that  it  is  in  a  condition  of 
pupilage  from  which  it  must  pass  before  it  can  attain  maturity. 
For  one  I  have  never  been  able  to  comprehend  why,  elastic 
as  our  constitutional  system  is,  we  should  not  be  able,  now 
more  especially  when  we  have  ceased  to  control  the  trade  of 
our    colonies,  to  render  the   links  which   bind   them  to   the 
British  Crown  at  least  as  lasting   as  those   which  unite  the 
component  parts  of  the  Union.     ......     One  thing  is, 

however,  indispensable  to  the  success  of  this  or  any  other 
C  l  nial  system  of  Colonial  Government.  You  must  renounce  the 
existence  habit  of  telling  the  Colonies  that  the  Colonial  is  a  provisional 
vi°si(Sal"  !  existence.  You  must  allow  them  to  believe  that,  without 
severing  the  bonds  which  unite  them  to  Great  Britain,  they 
may  attain  the  degree  of  perfection,  and  of  social  and  political 
development,  to  which  organised'  communities  of  free  men  have 
a  right  to  aspire. 

Since  I  began  this  letter  I  have,  I  regret  to  say,  con- 
firmatory evidence  of  the  justice  of  the  anticipations  I  had 
formed  pf  the  probable  effect  of  Lord  John's  declaration.  I 
enclose  extracts  from  two  newspapers,  an  annexationist,  the 
Herald  of  Montreal,  and  a  quasi  annexationist,  the  Mirror 
of  Toronto.  You  will  note  the  use  they  make  of  it.  I  was 
more  annoyed  however,  I  confess,  by  what  occurred  yesterday 
in  council.  We  had  to  determine  whether  or  not  to  dismiss 
from  his  offices  a  gentleman  who  is  both  M.P.P.,  Q.C.,  and 
J.P.,  and  who  has  issued  a  flaming  manifesto  in  favour,  not  of 
annexation,  but  of  an  immediate  declaration  of  independence 
as  a  step  to  it.  I  will  not  say  anything  of  my  own  opinion  on 

1850-1853.  NO   SEPARATION!  117 

the  case,  but  it  was  generally  contended  by  the  members  of 
the  Board,  that  it  would  be  impossible  to  maintain  that  per- 
sons who  had  declared  their  intention  to  throw  off  their  alle- 
giance to  the  Queen,  with  a  view  to  annexation,  were  unfit  to 
retain  offices  granted  during  pleasure,  if  persons  who  made  a 
similar  declaration  with  a  view  to  independence  were  to  be 
differently  dealt  with.  Baldwin  had  Lord  John's  speech  in 
his  hand.  He  is  a  man  of  singularly  placid  demeanour,  but 
he  has  been  seriously  ill,  so  possibly  his  nerves  are  shaken — 
at  any  rate  I  never  saw  him  so  much  moved.  (  Have  you 
'  read  the  latter  part  of  Lord  J.  Russell's  speech  ? '  he  said  to 
me.  I  nodded  assent.  (  For  myself,'  he  added, ''  if  the  an- 
( ticipations  therein  expressed  prove  to  be  well  founded,  my 
( interest  in  public  affairs  is  gone  for  ever.  But  is  it  not  hard 
6  upon  us  while  we  are  labouring,  through  good  and  evil  report, 
'  to  thwart  the  designs  of  those  who  would  dismember  the 
'  Empire,  that  our  adversaries  should  be  informed  that  the 
f  difference  between  them  and  the  Prime  Minister  of  England 
6  is  only  one  of  time  ?  If  the  British  Government  has  really 
6  come  to  the  conclusion  that  we  are  a  burden  to  be  cast  off 


'  whenever  a  favourable  opportunity  offers,  surely  we  ought  to 
*  be  warned.' 

I  replied  that  while  I  regretted  as  much  as  he  could  do 
the  paragraph  to  which  he  referred,  I  thought  he  somewhat 
mistook  its  import :  that  I  believed  no  man  living  was  more 
opposed  to  the  dismemberment  of  the  Empire  than  Lord  J. 
Eussell :  that  I  did  not  conceive  that  he  had  any  intention 
of  deserting  the  Colonies,  or  of  inviting  them  to  separate  from 
England ;  but  that  he  had  in  the  sentence  in  question  given 
utterance  to  a  purely  speculative,  and  in  my  judgment  most 
fallacious,  opinion,  which  was  shared,  I  feared,  by  very  many 
persons  both  in  England  and  the  Colonies :  that  I  held  it  to 
be  a  perfectly  unsound  and  most  dangerous  theory,  that  British 
Colonies  could  not  attain  maturity  without  separation,  and 
that  my  interest  in  labouring  with  them  to  bring  into  full  play 
the  principles  of  Constitutional  Government  in  Canada  would 
entirely  cease  if  I  could  be  persuaded  to  adopt  it.  I  said  all 
this  I  must  confess,  however,  not  without  misgiving,  for  I 
could  not  but  be  sensible  that,  in  spite  of  all  my  allegations  to 
the  contrary,  my  audience  was  disposed  to  regard  a  prediction 
of  this  nature,  proceeding  from  a  Prime  Minister,  less  as  a 

118  CANADA.  CH.  V. 

speculative  abstraction  than  as  one  of  that  class  of  prophecies 
which  work  their  own  fulfilment.  I  left  the  Council  Chamber 
disheartened,  with  the  feeling  that  Lord  J.  Russell's  reference 
to  the  manhood  of  Colonies  was  more  likely  to  be  followed  by 
practical  consequences  than  Lamartine's  famous  '  quand  Vheure 
aura  sonne '  invocation  to  oppressed  nationaliti  es.  It  is  pos- 
sible, indeed,  that  I  exaggerate  to  myself  the  pi cl  able  effects 
of  this  declaration.  Politicians  of  the  Baldwin  stamp,  with 
distinct  views  and  aims,  who  having  struggled  to  obtain  a 
Government  on  British  principles,  desire  t  o  preserve  it,  are 
not,  I  fear,  very  numerous  in  Canada;  the  great  mass. move 
on  with  very  indefinite  purposes,  and  not  much  inquiring 
whither  they  are  going.  Of  one  thing,  however,  I  am  con- 
I  fident;  there  cannot  be  any  peace,  contentment,  progress,  or 
1  credit  in  this  colony  while  the  idea  obtains  that  the  connect  ion 
l^with  England  is  a  millstone  about  its  neck  which  should  be 
cast  off,  as  soon  as  it  can  be  conveniently  managed.  What 
man  in  his  senses  would  invest  his  money  in  the  public  secu- 
rities of  a  country  where  questions  affecting  the  very  founda- 
tions on  which  public  credit  rests  are  in  perpetual  agitation; 
or  would  settle  in  it  at  all  if  he  could  find  for  his  foot  a  more 
stable  resting-place  elsewhere  ?  I  may,  perhaps,  be  expressing 
myself  too  unreservedly  with  reference  to  opinions  emanating 
from  a  source  which  I  am  no  less  disposed  than  bound  to 
respect.  As  I  have  the  means,  however,  of  feeling  the  pulse 
of  the  colonists  in  this  most  feverish  region,  I  consider  it  to 
be  always  my  duty  to  furnish  you  with  as  faithful  a  record  as 
possible  of  our  diagnostics.  And,  after  all,  may  I  not  with  all 
submission  ask,  Is  not  the  question  at  issue  a  most  momen- 
tous one?  What  is  it  indeed  but  this:  Is  the  Queen  of 
England  to  be  the  Sovereign  of  an  Empire,  growing,  expanding, 
strengthening  itself  from  age  to  age,  striking  its  roots  deep 
into  fresh  earth  and  drawing  new  supplies  of  vitality  from 
virgin  soils  ?  Or  is  she  to  be  for  all  essential  purposes  of 
might  and  power,  Monarch  of  Great  Britain  and  Ireland 
merely— her  place  and  that  of  her  line  in  the  world's  history 
determined  by  the  productiveness  of  12,000  square  miles  of  a 
coal  formation,  which  is  being  rapidly  exhausted,  and  the  dura- 
tion of  the  social  and  political  organization  over  which  she 
presides  dependent  on  the  annual  expatriation,  with  a  view  to 
its  eventual  alienization,  of  the  surplus  swarms  of  her  born 

1850—1853.  NO   SEPARATION!  119 

subjects  ?  If  Lord  J.  "Russell,  instead  of  concluding  his  ex- 
cellent speech  with  a  declaration  of  opinion  which,  as  I  read 
it,  and  as  I  fear  others  will  read  it,  seems  to  make  it  a  point  of 
honour  with  the  Colonists  to  prepare  for  separation,  had  con- 
tented himself  with  resuming  the  statements  already  made  in 
its  course,  with  showing  that  neither  the  Government  nor 
Parliament  could  have  any  object  in  view  in  their  Colonial 
policy  but  the  good  of  the  Colonies,  and  the  establishment  of 
the  relation  between  them  and  the  mother-country  on  th£  basis 
of  mutual  affection  ;  that,  as  the  idea  of  maintaining  a  Colonial 
Empire  for  the  purpose  of  exercising  dominion  or  dispensing 
patronage  had  been  for  some  time  abandoned,  and  that  of 
regarding  it  as  a  hot-bed  for  forcing  commerce  and  manu- 
factures more  recently  renounced,  a  greater  amount  of  free 
action  and  self-government  might  be  conceded  to  British 
Colonies  without  any  breach  of  Imperial  Unity,  or  the  vio- 
lation of  any  principle  of  Imperial  Policy,  than  had  under 
any  scheme  yet  devised  fallen  to  the  lot  of  the  component 
parts  of  any  Federal  or  Imperial  system  ;  if  he  had  left 
these  great  truths  to  work  their  effect  without  hazarding 
a  conjecture  which  will,  I  fear,  be  received  as  a  suggestion, 
with  respect  to  the  course  which  certain  wayward  members  of 
the  Imperial  family  may  be  expected  to  take  in  a  contingency 
still  confessedly  remote,  it  would,  I  venture  with  great  deference 
to  submit,  in  so  far  at  least  as  public  feeling  in  the  Colonies  is 
concerned,  have  been  safer  and  better. 

You  draw,  I  know,  a  distinction  between  separation  with  a  'Separa- 
view  to  annexation  and  separation  with  a  view  to  independ- 

ence.  You  say  the  former  is  an  act  of  treason,  the  latter  a  ation.' 
natural  and  legitimate  step  in  progress.  There  is  much  plausi- 
bility doubtless  in  this  position,  but,  independently  of  the  fact 
that  no  one  advocates  independence  in  these  Colonies  except 
as  a  means  to  the  end,  annexation,  is  it  really  tenable  ?  If  you 
take  your  stand  on  the  hypothesis  that  the  Colonial  existence 
is  one  with  which  the  Colonists  ought  to  rest  satisfied,  then,  I 
think,  you  are  entitled  to  denounce,  without  reserve  or  measure, 
those  who  propose  for  some  secondary  object  to  substitute  the 
Stars  and  Stripes  for  the  Union  Jack.  But  if,  on  the  contrary, 
you  assume  that  it  is  a  provisional  state,  which  admits  of  but 
a  stunted  and  partial  growth,  and  out  of  which  all  communities 
ought  in  the  course  of  nature  to  strive  to  pass,  how  can  you 

120  CANADA.  On.  V. 

refuse  to  permit  your  Colonies  here,  when  they  have  arrived 
at  the  proper  stage  in  their  existence,  to  place  themselves  in  a 
condition  which  is  at  once  most  favourable  to  their  security 
and  to  their  perfect  national  development  ?  What  reasons  can 
you  assign  for  the  refusal,  except  such  as  are  founded  on 
selfishness,  and  are,  therefore,  morally  worthless  ?  If  you  say 
that  your  great  lubberly  boy  is  too  big  for  the  nursery,  and 
that  you  have  no  other  room  for  him  in  your  house,  how  can 
you  decline  to  allow  him  to  lodge  with  his  elder  brethren  over 
the  way,  when  the  attempt  to  keep  up  an  establishment  for 
himself  would  seriously  embarrass  him  ? 

To  the  Earl  Grey. 

Toronto  :  November  1,  1850. 

Sir  H.  Bulwer  spent  four  days  with  us,  and  for  many 
reasons  I  am  glad  that  he  has  been  here.  He  leaves  us  know- 
ing more  of  Canada  than  he  did  when  he  came.  I  think  too 
that  both  he  and  Sir  E.  Head  return  to  their  homes  re-assured 
on  many  points  of  our  internal  policy,  on  which  they  felt 
doubtful  before,  and  much  enlightened  as  to  the  real  position 
of  men  and  things  in  this  province. 

Self-gov-  With  one  important  truth  I  have  laboured  to  impress  them, 
n™t™e-nt  and  J  h°Pe  successfully.  It  is  this  :  that  the  faithful  carrying 
publican,  out  of  the  principles  of  Constitutional  Government  is  a  de- 
parture from  the  American  model,  not  an  approximation  to 
it,  and,  therefore,  a  departure  from  republicanism  in  its  only 
workable  shape.  Of  the  soundness  of  this  view  of  our  case  I 
entertain  no  doubt  whatever;  and  though  I  meet  with  few 
persons  to  whom  it  seems  to  have  occurred  (for  the  common 
belief  of  superficial  observers  is  that  we  are  republicanising 
the  colonies),  I  seldom  fail  in  bringing  it  home  to  the  under- 
standing of  any  intelligent  person  with  whom  I  have  occasion 
to  discuss  it.  The  fact  is,  that  the  American  system  is  our  old 
Colonial  system  with,  in  certain  cases,  the  principle  of  popular 
election  substituted  for  that  of  nomination  by  the  Crown.  Mr. 
Filmore  stands  to  his  Congress  very  much  in  the  same  relation 
in  which  I  stood  to  my  Assembly  in  Jamaica.  There  is  the 
same  absence  of  effective  responsibility  in  the  conduct  of  legis- 
lation, the  same  want  of  concurrent  action  between  the  parts 
of  the  political  machine.  The  whole  business  of  legislation  in 

1850—1853.      SELF-GOVERNMENT   NOT   REPUBLICAN.         121 

the  American  Congress,  as  well  as  in  the  State  Legislatures, 
is  conducted  in  the  manner  in  which  railway  business  was  con- 
ducted in  the  House  of  Commons  at  a  time  when  it  is  to  be 
feared  that,  notwithstanding  the  high  standard  of  honour  in 
the  British  Parliament,  there  was  a  good  deal  of  jobbing.  For 
instance  our  Reciprocity  measure  was  pressed  by  us  at  Wash- 
ington last  session,  just,  as  a  Railway  Bill  in  1845  or  1846 
would  have  been  pressed  in  Parliament.  There  was  no  Go- 
vernment to  deal  with.  The  interests  of  the  Union,  as  a 
whole  and  distinct  from  local  and  sectional  interests,  had  no 
organ  in  the  representative  bodies  ;  it  was  all  a  question  of 
canvassing  this  member  of  Congress  or  the  other.  It  is  easy 
to  perceive  that,  under  such  a  system,  jobbing  must  become  not 
the  exception  but  the  rule. 

Now  I  feel  very  strongly,  that  when  a  people  have  been  once 
thoroughly  accustomed  to  the  working  of  such  a  Parliamentary 
system  as  ours,  they  never  will  consent  to  revert  to  this  clumsy 
irresponsible  mechanism.  Whether  we  shall  be  able  to  carry 
on  the  war  here  long  enough  to  allow  the  practice  of  Constitu- 
tional Government  and  the  habits  of  mind  which  it  engenders 
to  take  root  in  these  provinces,  may  be  doubtful.  But  it  may 
be  worth  your  while  to  consider  whether  these  views  do  not 
throw  some  light  on  aiFairs  in  Europe.  If  you  part  with  con- 
stitutional monarchies  there,  you  may  possibly  get  something 
much  more  democratic ;  but  you  cannot,  I  am  confident,  get 
American  republicanism.  It  is  the  fashion  to  say,  (  of  course 
'  not;  we  cannot  get  their  federal  system;'  but  this  is  not  the 
only  reason,  there  are  others  that  lie  deeper.  Look  at  France, 
where  they  are  trying  to  jumble  up  the  two  things,  a  head  of 
the  State  responsible  to  the  people  who  elect  him,  and  a 
ministry  responsible  to  the  Parliament. 

To  the  Duke  of  Newcastle. 

March  26,  1853. 

It  is  argued  that,  by  the  severance  of  the  connection, 
British  statesmen  would  be  relieved  of  an  onerous  responsi- 
bility for  colonial  acts  of  which  they  cannot  otherwise  rid 
themselves.  Is  there  not,  however,  some  fallacy  in  this  ?  If 
by  conceding  absolute  independence  the  British  Parliament 
can  acquit  itself  of  the  obligation  to  impose  its  will  upon  the 
Colonists,  in  the  matter,  for  instance,  of  a  Church  Establish- 

122  CANADA.  On.  V. 

ment,  can  it  not  attain  the  same  end  by  declaring  that,  as 
respects  such  local  questions,  the  Colonists  are  free  to  judge 
for  themselves  ?  How  can  it  be  justifiable  to  adopt  the  former 
of  these  expedients,  and  sacrilegious  to  act  upon  the  latter  ? 

The  true  policy,  in  my  humble  judgment,  is  to  throw  the 
whole  weight  of  responsibility  on  those  who  exercise  the  real 
power,  for,  after  all,  the  sense  of  responsibility  is  the  best 
security  against  the  abuse  of  power ;  and,  as  respects  the 
connection,  to  act  and  speak  on  this  hypothesis — that  there  is 
nothing  in  it  to  check  the  development  of  healthy  national  life 
in  these  young  communities.  I  believe  that  this  policy  will  be 
found  to  be  not  only  the  safest,  but  also  (an  important  con- 
sideration in  these  days)  the  most  economical. 

To  the  Earl  Grey. 

Toronto  :  December  17,  1850. 

Although,  as  you  observe,  it  seems  to  be  rather  idle  in  us  to 
correspond  on  what  may  be  termed  speculative  questions,  when 
we  have  so  much  pressing  business  on  hand,  I  venture  to  say 
a  few  words  in  reply  to  your  letter  of  the  23rd  ult.,  firstly, 
because  I  presume  to  dissent  from  some  of  the  opinions  which 
you  advance  in  it ;  and,  secondly,  because  I  have  a  practical 
object  of  no  small  importance  in  view  in  calling  your  attention 
to  the  contrasts  which  present  themselves  in  the  working  of 
our  institutions,  and  those  of  our  neighbours  in  the  States. 
My  practical  object  is  this  :  when  you  concede  to  the  Colonists 
Constitutional  Government  in  its  integrity,  you  are  reproached 
with  leading  them  to  Republicanism  and  the  American  Union. 
The  same  reproach  is  hurled  with  anathemas  against  your 
humble  servant.  Lord  Stanley,  if  I  rightly  remember,  in  the 
debate  on  Ryland's  case  last  year,  stated  amid  cheers,  that  if 
you  were  in  the  habit  of  consulting  the  Ministers  of  the  Crown 
in  the  Colony  before  you  placed  persons  on  the  colonial 
pension  list,  he  had  no  hesitation  in  saying  you  had  already 
established  a  republic  in  Canada !  Now  I  believe,  on  the  con- 
trary, that  it  may  be  demonstrated  that  the  concession  of  Con- 
stitutional Government  has  a  tendency  to  draw  the  Colonists 
the  other  way ;  firstly,  because  it  slakes  that  thirst  for  self- 
government  which  seizes  on  all  British  communities  when  they 
approach  maturity  ;  and,  secondly,  because  it  habituates  the 

1850—1853.      SELF-GOVERNMENT  NOT   REPUBLICAN.         123 

Colonists  to  the  working  of  a  political  mechanism,  which  is 
both  intrinsically  superior  to  that  of  the  Americans,  and  more 
unlike  it  than  our  old  Colonial  system. 

Adopting,  however,  the  views  with  respect  to  the  superiority 
of  the  mechanism  of  our  political  system  to  that  of  our  neigh- 
bours, which  I  have  ventured  to  urge,  you  proceed  to  argue 
that  the  remedy  is  in  their  hands;  that  without  abandoning 
their  republicanism  they  and  their  confreres  in  France  have 
nothing  to  do  but  to  dismiss  their  Presidents  and  to  substitute 
ou.  constitution  without  a  King,  the  body  without  the  head, 
for  tneir  own,  to  get  rid  of  the  inconveniences  which  they  now 
experience;  and  you  quote  with  approbation,  as  an  embodi- 
ment of  this  idea,  the  project  submitted  by  M.  Grevy  and  the 
Red  Republicans  to  the  French  Constituent  Assembly. 

Now  here  I  confess  I  cannot  go  along  with  you,  and  the  Value  of 
difference    between   us    is  a   very  material    one ;    for  if   the  archied" 
monarch  be   not    an  indispensable  element    in    our   constitu-  principK 
tional  mechanism,  and  if  we  can  secure  all  the  advantages 
of  that  mechanism    without   him,    I    have  drawn  the    wrong 
moral   from  the  facts.     You  say  that    the    system  the  Red 
Republicans  would  have  established   in   France  would    have 
been  the  nearest  possible  approach  to  our  own.     It  is  possible, 
I  think,  that  we  may  be  tending  towards  the  like  issues.    It  is 
possible,  perhaps  probable,  that  as  the   House  of  Commons 
becomes  more  democratic  in  its  composition,  and  consequently 
more  arrogant  in  its  bearing,  it  may  cast  off   the  shackles 
which  the  other  powers  of  the  State  impose  on  its  self-will, 
and  even  utterly  abolish  them ;  but  I  venture  to  believe  that 
those  who  last  till  that  day  comes,  will  find   that  they  are 
living  under  a  very  different  constitution  from  that  which  we 
now   enjoy ;    that    they   have   traversed    the    interval    which 
separates  a  temperate   and   cautious  administration  of  public   / 
affairs  resting  on  the  balance  of  powers  and  interests,  from  a   | 
reckless  and  overbearing  tyranny  based  on  the  caprices  and  I 
passions  of   an    absolute   and  irresponsible  body.     You  talk 
somewhat  lightly  of  the  check  of  the   Crown,  although  you 
acknowledge  its  utility.     But  is  it  indeed  so  light  a  matter, 
even  as  our  constitution  now  works  ?     Is  it  a  light  matter  that 
the  Crown  should  have  the  power  of  dissolving  Parliament ;  in 
other  words,  of  deposing  the  tyrant  at  will?     Is  it  a  light 
matter  that  for  several    months  in  each  year  the  House  of 

124  CANADA.  CH.  V. 

Commons  should  be  in  abeyance,  during  which  period  the 
nation  looks  on  Ministers  not  as  slaves  of  Parliament  but 
servants  of  the  Crown  ?  Is  it  a  light  matter  that  there  should 
still  be  such  respect  for  the  monarchical  principle,  that  the 
servants  of  that  visible  entity  yclept  the  Crown  are  enabled  to 
carry  on  much  of  the  details  of  internal  and  foreign  adminis- 
tration without  consulting  Parliament,  and  even  without  its 
cognisance  ?  Or  do  you  suppose  that  the  Red  Republicans, 
when  they  advocated  the  nomination  of  a  Ministry  of  the 
House  of  Assembly  with  a  revocable  mandat,  intended  to 
create  a  Frankenstein  endowed  with  powers  in  some  cases  para- 
mount to,  and  in  others  running  parallel  with,  the  authority 
of  the  omnipotent  body  to  which  it  owed  its  existence  ?  My 
own  impression  is,  that  they  meant  a  set  of  delegates  to  be 
appointed,  who  should  exercise  certain  functions  of  legislative 
initiation  and  executive  patronage  so  long  as  they  reflected 
clearly,  in  the  former  the  passions,  and  in  the  latter  the  in- 
terests of  the  majority  for  the  time  being,  and  no  longer. 

It  appears  to  me,  I  must  confess,  that  if  you  have  a  repub- 
lican form  of  government  in  a  great  country,  with  complicated 
internal  and  external  relations,  you  must  either  separate  the 
executive  and  legislative  departments,  as  in  the  United  States, 
or  submit  to  a  tyranny  of  the  majority,  not  the  more  tolerable 
because  it  is  capricious  and  wielded  by  a  tyrant  with  many 
heads.  Of  the  two  evils  I  prefer  the  former. 

Consider,  for  a  moment,  how  much  more  violent  the  proceed- 
ings of  majorities  in  the  American  Legislatures  would  be,  how 
much  more  reckless  the  appeals  to  popular  passion,  how  much 
more  frequently  the  permanent  interests  of  the  nation  and  the 
rights  of  individuals  and  classes  would  be  sacrificed  to  the 
object  of  raising  political  capital  for  present  uses,  if  debates  or 
discussions  affected  the  tenure  of  office.  I  have  no  idea  that 
[  the  executive  and  legislative  departments  of  the  State  can  be 
made  to  work  together  with  a  sufficient  degree  of  harmony  to 
give  the  maximum  of  strength  and  of  mutual  independence  to 
secure  freedom  and  the  rights  of  minorities,  except  under  the 
presidency  of  Monarchy,  the  moral  influence  of  which,  so  long 
as  a  nation  is  monarchical  in  its  sentiments,  cannot,  of  course, 
be  measured  merely  by  its  recognised  power. 

influence         Those  who  are  most  ready  to  concur  in  these  views  of 
POT,  under   Colonial  Government,  and  to  admire  the  vigour  with 

1850—1853.        THE   MONARCHICAL   PRINCIPLE.  125 

which  they  were  defended,  and  the  consistency  with  respon- 
which  they  were  carried  out,  may  still  be  inclined  to 
ask  whether  the  maintenance  of  them  did  not  involve 
a  species  of  official  suicide :  whether  the  theory  of  the 
responsibility  of  provincial  Ministers  to  the  provincial 
Parliament,  and  of  the  consequent  duty  of  the  Governor 
to  remain  absolutely  neutral  in  the  strife  of  political 
parties,  had  not  a  necessary  tendency  to  degrade  his 
office  into  that  of  a  mere  Roi  faineant.  He  had  in 
1849,  as  Sir  C.  Adderley  expresses  it,  4  maintained  the 
4  principle  of  responsible  Government  at  the  risk  of  his 
4  life.'  Was  the  result  of  his  hard- won  victory  only  to 
empty  himself  of  all  but  the  mere  outward  show  of 
power  and  authority? 

Such  questions  he  was  always  ready  to  meet  with  an 
uncompromising  negative.  4  I  have  tried,'  he  said, 
4  both  systems.  In  Jamaica  there  was  no  responsible 
4  Government :  but  I  had  not  half  the  power  I  have 
4  here  wj^h_nr^constitutional  and  changing  Cabinet.' 
Even  on  the  Vice -regal  throne  of  India,  he  missed,  at 
first,  at  least,  something  of  the  authority  and  influence 
which  had  been  his,  as  Constitutional  Governor,  in. 
Canada.1  He  was  fully  conscious,  however,  of  the 
difficult  nature  of  the  position,  and  that  it  was  only 
tenable  on  condition  of  being  penetrated,  or  possessed, 
as  he  said,  with  the  idea  of  its  tenability.  In  this 
strain  he  wrote  to  his  intimate  friend,  Mr.  Gumming 
Bruce,  in  September  1852,  with  reference  to  a  report 
that  he  was  to  be  recalled  by  the  Ministry  which  had 
recently  come  into  power. 

As  respects  the  matter  of  the  report,  I  am  disposed  to 
believe  that,  viewing  the  question  with  reference  to  personal 

1  '  Perhaps  I  may  see  reason  after  '  governed  on  strictly  constitutional 

'  a  little   more  experience   here    to  '  principles,  and  with  a  free  Parlia- 

*  modify  my  opinion  on  these  points.  {  ment,  as  compared  with  that  which 

'  If  I  were  to  tell  you  what  I  now  {  the   Governor-General    wields    in 

'  think  of  the  relative  amount  of  in-  l  India   when   at  peace,   you  would 

'  fluence  which  I  exercised  over  the  f  accuse  me  of  paradox.' — Letter  to 

'  march  of  alfairs  in  Canada,  where  I  Sir  C.  Wood,  December  9   1.862. 

126  CANADA.  CH.  V. 

interests  exclusively,  my  removal  from  hence  would  not  be  any 

disadvantage  to  me.     But,  as  to  my  work  here — there  is  the 

rub.     Is  it  to  be  all  undone?     On  this  point  I  must  speak 

frankly.     I  have  been  possessed  (I  use  the  word  advisedly,  for 

I  fear  that  most  persons  in  England  still  consider  it  a  case  of 

possession)  with  the  idea  that  it  is  possible  to  maintain  on  this 

soil  of  North  America,  and  in  the  face  of  Republican  America, 

British  connection  and    British  institutions,  if  you    give  the 

latter  freely  and  trustingly.  Faith,  when  it  is  sincere,  is  always 

Kcatching;  and  I  have  imparted  this  faith,  more  or  less  thoroughly, 

I  to  all  Canadian  statesmen  with  whom  I  have  been  in  official 

I  relationship  since  1848,  and  to  all  intelligent  Englishmen  with 

whom  I  have  come  in  contact  since   1850  —  as   witness   Lord 

.  Wharncliffe,  Waldegrave,  Tremenheere,  &c.  &c.  Now  if  the 
Governor  ceases  to  possess  this  faith,  or  to  have  the  faculty  of 
imparting  it,  I  confess  I  fear  that,  ere  long,  it  will  become 
extinct  in  other  breasts  likewise.  I  believe  that  it  is  equally 
an  error  to  imagine  with  one  old-fashioned  party,  that  you  can 
govern  such  dependencies  as  this  on  the  antiquated  bureau- 
cratic principle,  by  means  of  rescripts  from  Downing  Street, 
in  defiance  of  the  popular  legislatures,  and  on  the  hypothesis 
that  one  local  faction  monopolises  all  the  loyalty  of  the 
Colony  ;  and  to  suppose  with  the  Radicals  that  all  is  done 
when  you  have  simply  told  the  colonists  '  to  go  to  the  devil 
'  their  own  way.'  I  believe,  on  the  contrary,  that  there  is 
more  room  for  the  exercise  of  influence  on  the  part  of  the 

f*  Governor  under  my  system  than  under  any  that  ever  was 
before  devised  ;  an  influence,  however,  wholly  moral  —  an 

I    influence  of  suasion,  sympathy,  and  moderation,  which  softens 

&  the  temper  while  it  elevates  the  aims  of  local  politics. 

It  is  true  that  on  certain  questions  of  public  policy,  es- 
pecially with  regard  to  Church. matters,  views  are  propounded 
by  my  ministers  which  do  not  exactly  square  witn  my  pre-con- 
ceived  opinions,  and  which  I  acquiesce  in,  so  long  as  they  do 
not  contravene  the  fundamental  principles  of  morality,  from  a 
conviction  that  they  are  in  accordance  with  the  general  senti- 
ments of  the  community. 

It  is  true  that  I  do  not  seek  the  commendation  bestowed 
on  Sir  F.  Head  for  bringing  men  into  his  councils  from  the 
liberal  party,  and  telling  them  that  they  should  enjoy  only  a 
partial  confidence ;  thereby  allowing  them  to  retain  their  position 

1850—1853.  INFLUENCE   OF   A   GOVERNOR.  127 

as  tribunes  of  the  people  in  conjunction  with  the  prestige  of 
advisers  of  the  Crown  by  enabling  them  to  shirk  responsibility 
for  any  acts  of  government  which  are  unpopular.     It  is  true 
that   I  have  always  said  to  my  advisers,  '  while  you  continue  j 
'  my  advisers  you  shall  enjoy  my  unreserved  confidence  ;  and  en  \ 
6  revanche  you  shall  be  responsible  for  all  acts  of  government.' 

But  it  is  no  less  certain  that  there  is  not  one  of  them  who 
does  not  know  that  no  inducement  on  earth  would  prevail  with 
me  to  bring  me  to  acquiesce  in  any  measures  which  seemed  to     f 
me  repugnant  to  public  morals,  or  Imperial  interests ;  and  I    / 
must  say  that,  far  from  finding  in  my  advisers  a  desire  to  entrap 
me  into  proceedings  of  which   1  might  disapprove,   I  find  a 
tendency  constantly  increasing  to  attach  the  utmost  value  to 
my  opinion  on  all  questions,  local  or  general,  that  arise. 

The  deep  sense  which  he  entertained  of  the  im- 
portance of  a  correct  understanding  on  this  point  is 
shown  by  his  devoting  to  it  the  closing  words  of  the 
last  official  despatch  which  he  wrote  from  Quebec,  on 
December  18,  1854. 

I  readily  admit  that  the  maintenance  of  the  position  and  due 
influence  of  the  Governor  is  one  of  the  most  critical  problems  N 
that  have  to  be  solved  in  the  adaptation  of  Parliamentary 
Government  to  the  Colonial  system  ;  and  that  it  is  difficult  to 
over-estimate  the  importance  which  attaches  to  its  satisfactory 
solution.  As  the  Imperial  Government  and  Parliament  gra- 
dually withdraw  from  legislative  interference,  and  from  the 
exercise  of  patronage  in  Colonial  affairs,  the  office  of  Governor 
tends  to  become,  in  the  most  emphatic  sense  of  the  term,  the 
link  which  connects  the  Mother-country  and  the  Colony,  and 
his  influence  the  means  by  which  harmony  of  action  between 
the  local  and  imperial  authorities  is  to  be  preserved.  It  is  not, 
however,  in  my  humble  judgment,  by  evincing  an  anxious 
desire  to  stretch  to  the  utmost  constitutional  principles  in  his 
favour,  but,  on  the  contrary,  by  the  frank  acceptance  of  the 
conditions  of  the  Parliamentary  system,  that  this  influence  can 
be  most  surely  extended  and  confirmed.  Placed  by  his  position 
above  the  strife  of  parties — holding  office  by  a  tenure  less 
precarious  than  the  ministers  who  surround  him — having  no 
political  interests  to  serve  but  that  of  the  community  whose 
affairs  he  is  appointed  to  administer — his  opinion  cannot  fail, 

128  CANADA.  CH.  V. 

when  all  cause  for  suspicion  and  jealousy  is  removed,  to  have 
great  weight  in  the  Colonial  Councils,  while  he  is  set  at  liberty 
to  constitute  himself  in  an  especial  manner  the  patron  of  those 
larger  and  higher  interests— such  interests,  for  example,  as 
those  of  education,  and  of  moral  and  material  progress  in  all  its 
branches— which,  unlike  the  contests  of  party,  unite  instead 
of  dividing  the  members  of  the  body  politic.  The  mention  of 
such  influences  as  an  appreciable  force  in  the  administration  of 
public  affairs  may  provoke  a  sneer  on  the  part  of  persons  who 
have  no  faith  in  any  appeal  which  is  not  addressed  to  the  lowest 
motives  of  human  conduct ;  but  those  who  have  juster  views  of 
our  common  nature,  and  who  have  seen  influences  that  are 
purely  moral  wielded  with  judgment,  will  not  be  disposed  to 
deny  to  them  a  high  degree  of  efficacy. 

Defence  of  Closely  akin  to  the  question  of  the  maintenance  of 
°ny'  the  connection  between  the  Colony  and  Great  Britain, 
especially  when  viewed  as  affected  by  the  commercial 
and  financial  condition  of  the  former,  was  the  question 
of  throwing  upon  it  the  expense  of  defending  itself;  a 
problem  which  was  then  only  beginning  to  attract  the 
attention  of  liberal  statesmen.  For  though  it  may  be 
true  that  the  practice  of  defending  the  Colonies  with 
the  troops  and  at  the  cost  of  the  mother-country  was 
an  innovation  upon  the  earlier  Colonial  system,  intro- 
duced at  the  time  of  the  great  war,  it  is  riot  the  less 
certain  that  to  the  generation  of  colonists  that  had 
grown  up  since  that  time  the  abandonment  of  it  had 
all  the  effect  of  novelty.  It  was  a  question  on-  which, 
as  affecting  Canada,  Lord  Elgin  was  in  a  peculiar  degree 
4  between  two  fires ;'  exposed  to  pressure  at  once  from 
the  Government  at  home  and  from  his  own  Ministers, 
and  seeing  much  to  agree  with  in  the  views  of  both. 
against  In  the  first  place,  as  regards  the  preservation  of  order 

disorder;  within  the  province,  he  thought  it  clear  that,  as  a  general 
rule,  the  cost  of  this  should  fall  on  the  Colony  itself 
wherever  it  enjoyed  self-government;  but  there  were 
peculiar  circumstances  in  Canada  which  made  him  hesi- 
tate to  apply  the  doctrine  unreservedly  there.  Owing 

1850—1853.  DEFENCES   OF   THE   COLONY.  129 

to  the  contiguity  of  the  United  States,  the  abettors  of 
any  mischief  in  the  Colony  might  count  on  help  con- 
stantly at  hand,  not  indeed  from  the  Government  of 
the  Union,  which  never  acted  disloyally,1  but  from 
the  unruly  spirits  that  were  apt  to  infest  the  borders  ; 
and  it  seemed  to  him  at  least  doubtful,  whether  both 
justice  and  policy  did  not  require  that  Great  Britain 
should  afford  to  the  supporters  of  order  some  material 
aid  to  counterbalance  this.  Again,  the  peculiar  social 
and  political  state  of  Lower  Canada,  arising  mainly 
from  the  conditions  under  which  it  had  passed  into 
the  hands  of  England,  and  from  the  manner  in  which 
England  had  fulfilled  those  conditions,  created  special 
difficulties  as  to  the  maintenance  of  internal  quiet.  On 
the  one  hand  England's  respect  for  treaty  obligations 
had  induced  her  to  resist  all  attempts  to  break  down  by 
fraud  or  violence  those  rights  and  usages  of  the  French 
population,  which  had  tended  to  keep  alive  among  them 
feelings  of  distinctive  nationality;  while  on  the  other 
hand  the  effect  of  the  working  of  the  old  system  of 
colonial  administration  had  been  to  confer  upon  British 
or  American  settlers  a  disproportionate  share  in  the 
government  of  the  province.  It  followed  that  the 
French- Canadian  majority  and  the  Anglo-Saxon  mi- 
nority were  dwelling  side  by  side  in  that  section  of  the 
Colony  without,  to  any  sensible  extent,  intermingling, 
and  under  conditions  of  equilibrium  which  could  never 
have  been  established  but  for  the  presence  on  the  same 
scene  of  a  directing  and  overruling  power.  In  this 
state  of  things,  while  confidently  hoping  that  an  im- 
partial adherence  to  the  principles  of  constitutional 
government  would  by  degrees  obliterate  all  national 
distinctions,  he  saw  reason  to  fear  that  the  sudden  with- 
drawal of  Britain's  moderating  control,  whether  as 
the  result  of  separation  or  of  a  change  of  Imperial 

1  Vide  infra,  p.  159. 

130  CANADA.  Cn.  V. 

policy,  would  be  followed  at  no  distant  period  by  a 
serious  collision  between  the  races. 

against  Similarly,  as  regards  defence  against  foreign  attack, 

attack.  9  while  agreeing  that  a  self-governing  colony  should  be 
self-dependent,  Lord  Elgin  felt  that  the  peculiar  posi- 
tion of  Canada,  having  no  foreign  attack  to  apprehend 
except  in  quarrels  of  England's  making,  made  her  case 
somewhat  exceptional.  And  any  wholesale  withdrawal 
of  British  troops  he  strongly  deprecated,  as  likely  to 
imperil  her  connection  with  the  mother-country,  if  it 
took  place  suddenly,  before  the  old  notion — the  '  axiom 
'  affirmed  again  and  again  by  Secretaries  of  State  and 
4  Governors,  that  England  was  bound  to  pay  all  ex- 
4  penses  connected  with  the  defence  of  the  Colony  '- 
had  lost  its  hold  on  men's  minds,  and  a  feeling  of  the 
responsibilities  attaching  to  self-government  had  had 
time  to  grow  up. 

His  first  letter  on  the  subject  is  to  Lord  Grey,  written 
so  early  as  April  26,  1848  : — 

The  question  which  you  raise  in  your  last  letter  respecting 
the  military  defence  of  Canada  is  a  large  one,  and,  before 
irrevocable  steps  be  taken,  it  may  be  well  to  look  at  it  on  all 

The  first  consideration  which  offers  itself  in  connection  with 
this  subject  is  this,  '  Why  does  Canada  require  to  be  defended, 
and  against  whom  ? '  A  very  large  number  of  persons  in  this 
community  believe  that  there  is  only  one  power  from  which 
they  have  anything  to  dread,  and  that  this  power  would  be 
converted  into  the  fastest  friend,  bone  of  their  bone,  and  flesh 
of  their  flesh,  if  the  connection  with  Great  Britain  were  aban- 

In  this  respect  the  position  of  Canada  is  peculiar.  When 
you  say  to  any  other  colony  <  England  declines  to  be  longer  at 
the  expense  of  protecting  you,'  you  at  once  reveal  to  it  the 
extent  of  its  dependence  and  the  value  of  Imperial  support. 
But  it  is  not  so  here.  Withdraw  your  protection  from  Canada, 
and  she  has  it  in  her  power  to  obtain  the  security  against 
aggression  enjoyed  by  Michigan  or  Maine:  about  as&good 

1850—1853.  DEFENCES   OF   THE   COLONY.  131 

security,  I  must  allow,  as  any  which  is  to  be  obtained  at  the 
present  time. 

But  you  may  observe  in  reply  to  this,  f  You  cannot  get  the 
security  which  Michigan  and  Maine  enjoy  for  nothing ;  you 
must  purchase  it  by  the  surrender  of  your  custom  houses  and 
public  lands,  the  proceeds  of  which  will  be  diverted  from  their 
present  uses  and  applied  to  others,  at  the  discretion  of  a  body 
in  which  you  will  have  comparatively  little  to  say.'  The 
argument  is  a  powerful  one,  so  long  as  England  consents  to 
bear  the  cost  of  the  defence  of  the  Colony,  but  its  force  is 
much  lessened  when  the  inhabitants  are  told  that  they  must 
look  to  their  own  safety,  because  the  mother-country  can  no 
longer  afford  to  take  care  of  them. 

On  the  other  hand  very  weighty  reasons  may  be  adduced  in 
favour  of  the  policy  of  requiring  the  province  to  bear  some 
portion  at  least  of  the  charge  of  its  own  protection.  The 
adoption  of  free-trade,  although  its  advocates  must  believe 
that  it  tends  to  make  the  Colonies  in  point  of  fact  less  charge- 
able than  heretofore,  will  doubtless  render  the  English  people 
more  than  ever  jealous  of  expenditure  incurred  on  their  behalf. 
1 1  am,  moreover,  of  opinion,  that  the  system  of  relieving  the 
f  colonists  altogether  from  the  duty  of  self-defence  is  attended 
with  injurious  effects  upon  themselves.  It  checks  the  growth 
of  national  and  manly  morals.  Men  seldom  think  anything 
worth  preserving  for  which  they  are  never  asked  to  make  a 

My  view,  therefore,  would  be  that  it  is  desirable  that  a 
movement  in  the  direction  which  you  have  indicated  should 
take  place,  but  that  it  ought  to  be  made  with  much  caution./ 

The  present  is  not  a  favourable  moment  for  experiments. 
British  statesmen,  even  Secretaries  of  State,  have  got  into  the 
habit  lately  of  talking  of  the  maintenance  of  the  connection 
between  Great  Britain  and  Canada  with  so  much  indifference, 
that  a  change  of  system  in  respect  of  military  defence  in- 
cautiously carried  out,  might  be  presumed  by  many  to  argue, 
on  the  part  of  the  mother-country,  a  disposition  to  prepare 
the  way  for  separation.  Add  to  this,  that  you  effected,  only 
a  few  years  ago,  a  union  between  the  Upper  and  Lower 
Provinces  by  arbitrary  mp.ajns,  and  for  objects  the  avowal  of 
which  has  profoundly  irritated  the  French  population  ;  that 
still  more  recently  you  have  deprived  Canada  of  her  principal 

K  2 

132  CANADA.  CH.  V. 

advantages  in  the  British  markets  ;  that  France  and  Ireland 
are  in  flames,  and  that  nearly  half  of  the  population  of  this 
Colony  are  French,  nearly  half  of  the  remainder  Irish. 

That  Canada  felt  no  need  of  bulwarks  except  against 
-  England's  foes  was  a  point  on  which  he  constantly  in- 
sisted.    On  one  occasion  he  wrote : — 

Only  one  absurdity  can  be  greater,  pardon  me  for  saying  so, 
than  the  absurdity  of  supposing  that  the  British  Parliament 
will  pay  £200,000  for  Canadian  fortifications ;  it  is  the  ab- 
surdity of  supposing  that  Canadians  will  pay  it  themselves. 

^200,000  for  defences !  and  against  whom  ?  against  the 
Americans.  And  who  are  the  Americans  ?  Your  own  kindred, 
a  flourishing  swaggering  people,  who  are  ready  to  make  room 
for  you  at  their  own  table,  to  give  you  a  share  of  all  they 
possess,  of  all  their  prosperity,  and  to  guarantee  you  in  all 
time  to  come  against  the  risk  of  invasion,  or  the  need  of 
defences,  if  you  will  but  speak  the  word ! 

Recom-  On  the  whole  he  was  of  opinion  that  the  Government 

gradual       should  quietly,   and  sans  phrase,  remove  their  troops 

offbrceT     altogether    from  some  points,  reduce  them  in   others, 

and  '  aim   at   the    eventual   substitution   of  a    Major - 

'  General's  command  for  that  of  a  Lieutenant-General 

'  in  Canada ;  but  that  nothing  should  be  done  hastily  or 

1  per  saltum,  so  as  to  alarm  the  Colonists  with  the  idea 

•  that  some  new  and  strange  principle  was  going  to  be 

4  applied  to  them.' 

You  may  if  you  please  (he  wrote)  largely  reduce  the  staff, 
and  more  moderately  the  men,  leaving  the  remainder  in  the 
best  barracks.  I  think  you  may  do  this  without,  in  any 
material  degree,  increasing  the  tendency  towards  annexation  ; 

provided  always  that  you  make  no  noise  about  it 

But,  I  repeat  it,  you  must  not,  unless  you  wish  to  drive  the 
Colony  away  from  you,  impose  new  burdens  upon  the  Colonists 
at  this  time.1 

1  In  entire  accordance  with  this  <  and  to  calls  which  at  a  period  more 

view,  he   recommended  that  Great  '  or  less  remote  we  may  have  to  make 

Britain  should  take  upon  herself  the  <on  the   loyalty  and   patriotism  of 

payment  of   the  Governor's  salary,  'Canadians.' 
*'  with  a  view  to  future  contingencies, 

1850— 1853.  DEFENCES   OF   THE   COLONY.  133 

The  course  thus  sketched  out  he  himself  steadily 
pursued;  and  his  last  letters  on  the  subject,  written 
early  in  1853  to  the  Duke  of  Newcastle,  who  had  re- 
cently become  Secretary  for  the  Colonies,  were  occupied 
in  recommending  a  continuance  of  the  same  quietly 
progressive  policy : 

When  I  came  here  we  had  a  Commander-iri-Chief  and  two 
Major- Generals.  We  have  now  only  one  General  on  the 

*  station,  and  the  staff  has  undergone  proportional  diminution. 
If  further  reductions  are  to  be  made,  let  them  be  effected  in 
the  same  quiet  way  without  parade  or  the  ostentatious  adoption 
of  new  principles  as  applicable  to  the  defence  of  colonies  which 
are  exposed,  as  Canada  is  by  reason  of  their  connection  with 
Great  Britain,  to  the  hazard  of  assaults  from  organised  powers. 
Continue  then,  if  you  will  pardon  me  for  so  freely  tendering 
advice,  to  apply  in  the  administration  of  our  local  affairs  the 
principles  of  Constitutional  Government  frankly  and  fairly. 
Do  not  ask  England  to  make  unreasonable  sacrifices  for  the 
Colonists,  but  such  sacrifices  as  are  reasonable,  on  the  hypo- 
thesis that  the  Colony  is  an  exposed  part  of  the  empire.  In- 
duce her  if  you  can  to  make  them  generously  and  without 
appearing  to  grudge  them.  Let  it  be  inferred  from  your 
language  that  there  is  in  your  opinion  nothing  in  the  nature  of 
things  to  prevent  the  tie  which  connects  the  Mother-country 
and  the  Colony  from  being  as  enduring  as  that  which  unites 
the  different  States  of  the  Union,  and  nothing  in  the  nature  of 
our  very  elastic  institutions  to  prevent  them  from  expanding 
so  as  to  permit  the  free  and  healthy  development  of  social, 
political,  and  national  life  in  these  young  communities.  By 
administering  colonial  affairs  in  this  spirit  you  will  find,  I 
believe,  even  when  you  least  profess  to  seek  it,  the  true  secret 
of  the  cheap  defence  of  nations.  If  these  communities  are 
only  truly  attached  to  the  connection  and  satisfied  of  its  per- 
manence (and,  as  respects  the  latter  point,  opinions  here  will 
be  much  influenced  by  the  tone  of  statesmen  at  home),  elements 
of  self-defence,  not  moral  elements  only  but  material  elements 
likewise,  will  spring  up  within  them  spontaneously  as  the  pro- 
duct of  movements  from  within,  not  of  pressure  from  without. 
Two  millions  of  people,  in  a  northern  latitude,  can  do  a  good 
deal  in  the  way  of  helping  themselves  when  their  hearts  are  in 
the  right  place. 

134  CANADA.  CH.  VI. 







The  WE   have   had   frequent  occasion  to  observe  that  the 

Eeserves.'  guiding  principle  of  Lord  Elgin's  policy  was  to  let  the 
Colony  have  its  own  way  in  everything  which  was  not 
contrary  either  to  public  morality  or  to  some  Imperial 
interest.  It  was  in  this  spirit  that  he  passed  the 
Rebellion  Losses  Act  ;  and  in  this  spirit  he  watched 
the  contest  which  raged  for  many  years  on  the  memo- 
rable question  of  the  4  Clergy  Reserves/ 

History  of  By  the  Canada  Act  of  1791  one-seventh  of  the  lands 
tion?ue  then  ungranted  had  been  set  apart  for  the  support  of  a 
'Protestant  Clergy.'  At  first  these  reserves  were  re- 
garded as  the  exclusive  property  of  the  Church  of 
England;  but  in  1820  an  opinion  was  obtained  from 
Vthe  Law  Officers  of  the  Crown  in  England,  that  the 
clergy  of  the  Church  of  Scotland  had  a  right  to  a  share 
in  them,  but  not  Dissenting  Ministers.  In  1840  an 
Act  was  passed  in  which  the  claims  of  other  denomi- 
nations also  were  distinctly  recognised.  By  it  the 
Governor  was  empowered  to  sell  the  reserves  ;  a  part 
of  the  proceeds  was  to  be  applied  in  payment  of  the 
salaries  of  the  existing  clergy,  to  whom  the  faith  of 
the  Crown  had  been  pledged  ;  one-half  of  the  remainder 
was  to  go  to  the  Churches  of  England  and  Scotland,  in 


1850—1854.  THE   '  CLERGY   RESERVES.'  135 

proportion  to  their  respective  numbers,  and  the  other 
half  was  to  be  at  the  disposal  of  the  Governor -General 
for  the  benefit  of  the  clergy  of  any  Protestant  denomi- 
nation willing  to  receive  public  aid. 

But  the  old  inveterate  jealousy  of  Anglican  as- 
cendency, aggravated,  it  is  said,  by  the  political  conduct  i 
of  Bishop  Strachan,  who  had  identified  his  Church  with 
the  obnoxious  rule  of  the  Family  Compact,  was  not  / 
content  with  these  concessions.  Allying  itself  with 
the  voluntary  spirit,  caught  from  the  Scottish  Free 
Church  movement  in  1843,  it  took  the  shape  of  a 
fanatical  opposition  to  everything  in  the  nature  of  a 
public  provision  for  the  support  of  religion  ;  and  the 
cry  was  raised  for  the  l  Seculaj^sation  of  the  Clergy 
Keserves.'  Eagerly  taken  up,  as  was  natural,  by  the 
Ultra-radicals,  or  c  Clear-grits,'  the  cry  was  echoed  by 
a  considerable  section  of  the  old  Tory  party,  from 
motives  which  it  is  less  easy  to  analyse  ;  and  so  violent 
was  the  feeling  that  it  threatened  to  sweep  away  at  one 
stroke  all  the  endowments  in  question,  without  regard 
to  vested  interests,  and  without  even  waiting  for  the 
repeal  of  the  Imperial  Act  by  which  these  endowments 
were  guaranteed.  More  loyal  and  moderate  counsels 
however  prevailed,  owing  chiefly  to  the  support  which 
they  received  from  the  Roman__Catholics  of  Lower 
Canada,  at  one  time  so  violently  disaffected.  In  1850 
the  Assembly  voted  an  Address  to  the  Queen,  praying 
that  the  Act  referred  to  might  be  repealed,  and  that 
the  Local  Legislature  might  be  empowered  to  dispose 
of  the  reserved  lands,  subject  to  the  condition  of  secur- 
ing to  the  existing  holders  for  their  lives  the  stipends 
to  which  they  were  then  entitled.  To  this  Address  a 
favourable  answer  was  returned  by  Lord  Grey;  who, 
while  avowing  the  preference  of  Her  Majesty's  Govern- 
ment for  the  existing  arrangement,  by  which  a  certain 
portion  of  the  public  lands  of  Canada  were  applied  to 
religious  uses,  admitted  at  the  same  time  that  the 

136  CANADA.  CH.  VI. 

question  of  maintaining  it  was  one  so  exclusively  affect- 
ing the  people  of  Canada,  that  its  decision  ought  not 
to  be  withdrawn  from  the  Provincial  Legislature. 

A  BUJl  for  granting  to  the  Colony  the  desired  powers 
was  intended  to  be  introduced  into  Parliament  during 
the  session  of  1851,  but  owing  to  the  pressure  of  other 
business  it  was  deferred  to  the  next  year.  It  was  to 
have  been  brought  forward  in  a  few  days,  when  the 
break-up  of  Lord  John  Russell's  Ministry  caused  it  to 
be  again  postponed;  and  it  was  not  till  May  9,  1853. 
that  the  long  looked-for  Act  received  the  Queen's  assent. 

No   action   could   be   taken   in   the  matter   by  the 
Colonial  Parliament  for  that  year,  as  its  session  closed 
on  June  1 4 ;  and  when  it  met  again  next  year  a  minis- 
terial crisis,  followed  by  a  dissolution  and  a  change  of 
Ministers,   caused   a   postponement   of  all   legislation. 
Finally,  on  October  17,  1854,  a  Bill  for  the  c  Seculari- 
'  sation  of  the  Clergy  Reserves '  was  introduced  into  the 
Assembly.     The  more  moderate  and  thoughtful  men  of 
every  party  are  said  to  have  been  at  heart  opposed  to 
it ;  but  it  was  impossible  for  them  to  stand  against  the 
current  of  popular  feeling.     The  Bill  speedily  became 
law;    the  Clergy  Reserves  were  handed  over  to  the 
various  municipal   corporations  for  secular  uses;  and 
though  by  this  means  c  a  noble  provision  made  for  the 
4  sustentation  of  religion  was  frittered  away  so  as  to 
4  produce  but  few  beneficial  results,' l  a  question  which 
had  long  been  the  occasion  of  much  heart-burning  was 
at  least  settled,  and  settled  for  ever.     A  slender  pro- 
vision for  the  future  was  saved  out  of  the  wreck  by  the 
commutation  of  the  reserved  life-interests  of  incum- 
bents, which  laid  the  foundation  of  a  small  permanent 
endowment  ;  but,  with  this  exception,  the  equality  of 
destitution  among  all  Protestant  communities  was  com- 

1 _Mac  Mullen's  History  of  Canada,          2  It  is  a  singular  fact,   as   illus- 
P*      ' '  trating  the  tenacity  and  coherence 

1850—1854.  THE   'CLERGY   RESERVES.'  137 

The  various  stages  through  which  this  question 
passed  may  be  traced  in  the  following  letters,  of  which 
the  first  was  written  to  Lord  Grey  on  July  5,  1850  : 

Two  addresses  to  the  Queen  were  voted  by  the  Assembly  a 
few  days  ago  and  brought  up  by  the  House  to  me  for  trans- 
mission. The  one  is  an  address,  very  loyal  in  its  tone,  depreca- 
ting all  revolutionary  changes. 

The  other  address  is  not  so  satisfactory.  It  prays  Her  Address  to 
Majesty  to  obtain  the  repeal  of  the  Imperial  Act  on  the  Clergy 
Reserves  passed  in  1840,  and  to  hand  them  over  to  the  Canadian 
Parliament  to  deal  with  them  as  it  may  see  fit — guaranteeing, 
however,  the  life  interests  of  incumbents.  The  resolutions 
on  which  this  address  was  founded  were  introduced  by  a 
member  of  the  Government,  which  has  treated  the  question  as 
an  open  one. 

You  are  sufficiently  acquainted  with  Canadian  history  to  be 
aware  of  the  fact,  that  these  unfortunate  Clergy  Reserves  have 
been  a  bone  of  contention  ever  since  they  were  set  apart.  I 
know  how  very  inconvenient  it  is  to  repeal  the  Imperial  Act 
which  was  intended  to  be  a  final  settlement  of  the  question  ;  , 
but  I  must  candidly  say  I  very  much  doubt  whether  you  will  I 
be  able  to  preserve  the  Colony  if  you  retain  it  on  the  Statute 
Book.  Even  Lafoniaine  and  others  who  recognise  certain 
vested  rights  of  the  Protestant  churches  under  the  Consti- 
tutional Act,  advocate  the  repeal  of  the  Imperial  Act  of  1840  : 
partly  because  Lower  Canada  was  not  consulted  at  all  when 
it  was  passed;  and,  secondly,  because  the  distribution  made 
under  that  Act  is  an  unfair  one,  and  inconsistent  with  the 
views  of  the  Upper  Canadian  Legislature,  as  expressed  at  the 
time  but  set  aside  in  deference,  as  it  is  alleged,  to  the  remon- 
strances of  the  English  bishops.  Some  among  the  Anglo- 
Saxon  Liberals,  and  some  of  the  Orange  Tories,  I  suspect, 
share  these  views. 

A  considerable  section  is  for  appropriating  the  proceeds  of 
the  reserves  at  once,  and  applying  them  to  education,  without 
any  regard  to  the  rights  either  of  individuals  or  of  churches. 
These  persons  are  furious  with  the  supporters  of  the  address 

of  the  Church  of  Rome,  that  while  the  Roman  Catholic  clergy,  of  the 

all  Protestant  endowments  were  thus  vast  possessions  left  to  them  by  the 

indiscriminately  swept  away,  no  voice  old  French  capitulation. — Mac  Mul- 

was  raised  against  the  retention,  by  len,  p.  528. 

138  '  CANADA.  OH.  VI. 

for  proposing  to  preserve  the  life  interests  of  incumbents.  The 
sentiments  of  the  remainder  are  pretty  accurately  conveyed 
by  the  terms  of  the  address. 

To  the  Earl  Grey. 

Toronto,  July  19,  1850. 

Reasons  The   'Clear   Grit'  organs,   which  have   absorbed  a   large 

for  agree-  portion  of  the  '  Annexationists,'  talk  very  big  about  what  they 
will  do  if  England  steps  in  to  preserve  the  <  Clergy  Keserves.' 
That  party  would  be  only  too  glad  to  get  up  a  quarrel  with 
England  on  such  a  point.  It  is,  of  course,  impossible  for  you 
to  do  anything  with  the  Imperial  Act  till  next  session.  A 
little  delay  may  perhaps  enable  us  to  see  our  way  more  clearly 
with  respect  to  this  most  perplexing  subject. 

Lord  Sydenham's  despatch  of  January  22, 1840,  is  a  curious 
and  instructive  one.  It  accompanies  the  Act  on  the  f  Clergy 
Reserve  '  question,  which  he  induced  the  Parliament  of  Upper 
Canada  to  pass,  but  which  was  not  adopted  at  home  ;  for  the 
House  of  Lords  concocted  one  more  favourable  to  the  Estab- 
lished Churches.  He  clearly  admits  that  the  Act  is  against 
the  sense  of  the  country,  and  that  nothing  but  his  own  great 
personal  influence  got  it  through,  and  yet  he  looks  upon  it  as 
a  settlement  of  the  question.  I  confess  I  see  few  of  the  con- 
ditions of  finality  in  measures  which  are  passed  under  such 

To  the  Earl  Grey. 

Toronto,  March  18,  1851. 

I  am  far  from  thinking  that  the  '  Clergy  Reserves '  will 
necessarily  be  diverted  from  religious  purposes  if  the  Local 
Parliament  has  the  disposal  of  them.  I  should  feel  very  confi- 
dent that  this  would  not  be  the  case,  were  it  not  that  the  tone 
adopted  by  the  Church  of  England  here  has  almost  always 
the  effect  of  driving  from  her  even  those  who  would  be  most 
disposed  to  cooperate  with  her  if  she  would  allow  them. 

To  the  Earl  Grey. 

Toronto,  June  14,  1851. 

On  the  whole  the  best  chance  for  the  Church  interest  as 
regards  the  question,  in  my  judgment,  is  that  you  should  carry 
your  empowering  bill  through  the  Imperial  Parliament  this 
session,  and  that  we  should  get  through  our  session  and  the 


:>0— 1854.  THE    '  CLERGY   RESERVES.'  139 

aeral  election,  which  is  about  to  follow,  with  as  little 
excitement  as  possible.  The  province  is  prosperous  and  the 
people  contented ;  and  at  such  a  time,  if  no  disturbing  cause 
arise,  moderate  and  reasonable  men  are  likely  to  be  returned. 
At  the  same  time  the  (  Clergy  Reserve '  question  is  sufficiently 
before  the  public  to  insure  our  getting  from  the  returns  to 
Parliament  a  pretty  fair  indication  of  what  are  the  real  senti- 
ments of  the  people  upon  it.  I  need  not  say  that  there  can 
be  no  security  for  the  permanence  of  any  arrangement  which 
is  not  in  tolerable  conformity  with  those  sentiments. 

To  the  Earl  Grey. 

July  12, 1851. 

As  to  the  insinuation  that  the  movement  against  the  endow-  Movement 
ments  of  the  Church  of  England  is  prompted  by  the  Romans,  prompted 
events  will  give  the  lie  to  it  ere  long.     The  following  facts,  by  Roman 
however,  seem  to  be  wholly  irreconcilable  with  this  hypothesis.     at  c  1CS' 
Before  the  Union  of  the  Provinces  there  were  very  few,  if 
any,  Roman  Catholic  members  in  the  Upper  Canada  Parlia- 
ment;   they   were  all-powerful   in   the    Lower.      Now   it   is 
recorded    in    history,  that   the   Upper   Canadian    Legislative 
Assembly  kept  up  year  after  year  a  series  of  assaults  on  the 
'  Clergy  Reserves ; '  in  proof  of  wThich  read  the  narrative  part 
of  the  Address  to  Her  Majesty  on  the  (  Clergy  Reserves  '  from 
the  Legislative  Assembly  last  year.     And  it  is  equally  a  fact 
that  the  Lower  Canadian  Legislative  Assembly  never  meddled 
with  them,  except  I* think  once,  when  they  were  invited  to  do 
so  by  the  Government. 

Some  months  later,  in  the  beginning  of  1852,  Lord 
John  Russell's  Administration  was  broken  up,  and 
Lord  Grey  handed  over  the  seals  of  the  Colonial  Office 
to  Sir  John  Pakington.  One  of  the  first  subjects  on 
which  the  new  Secretary  asked  to  be  furnished  with 
confidential  information  was  as  to  the  state  of  public  feel- 
ing in  Canada  upon  the  question  of  the  future  disposal 
of  the c  Clergy  Reserves.'  Lord  Elgin  replied  as  follows  : 

You  require,   if  I  rightly  understand   your   letter,  that  I  Feeling  in 
should  state,  in  the  first  place,  whether  I  believe  that  the  senti-  t]?e  Pro~ 

VI  DCfi  " 

ments  of  the  community  in  reference  to  the  subject-matter  of 

140  '  CANADA.  On.  VI. 

this  Address  are  faithfully  represented  in  the  votes  of  the 
Assembly.  I  cannot  answer  this  question  otherwise  than 
affirmatively.  Not  that  I  am  by  any  means  disposed  to  under- 
rate the  importance  of  the  petitions  which  may  have  been  sent 
home  by  opponents  of  the  measure.  The  clergy  of  the  Church 
of  England  and  of  that  portion  of  the  Presbyterian  Church 
Avhich  preserves  its  connection  with  the  Established  Church  of 
Scotland,  are  generally  unwilling  that  the  question  of  the 
'reserves  should  be  left  to  the  decision  of  the  Local  Legislature. 
They  are,  to  a  considerable  extent,  supported  by  their  flocks 
when  they  approach  the  throne  as  petitioners  against  the 
prayer  of  the  Assembly's  Address,  although  it  is  no  doubt 
an  error  to  suppose  that  the  lay  members  of  these  communions 
are  unanimous,  or  all  alike  zealous  in  the  espousal  of  these 
views.  From  this  quarter  the  petitions  which  appear  to  have 
reached  Lord  Grey  and  yourself  have,  I  apprehend,  almost 
^  exclusively  proceeded.  Other  bodies,  even  of  those  which 
participate  in  the  produce  of  the  reserves,  as  for  example  the 
Wesleyans  and  the  Roman  Catholics  of  Upper  Canada,  have 
not,  that  I  am  aware  of,  moved  in  the  matter,  unless  it  be  in 
an  opposite  direction. 

in  U  per  ^an  ^  tnen  ^e  mferre<l  from  such  indications  that  public 
Canada ;  opinion  in  the  province  does  not  support  the  cause  taken  by  the 
Assembly  in  reference  to  the  '  Clergy  Reserves  '  ?  or,  what  is 
perhaps  more  to  the  purpose,  that  a  provincial  administration, 
formed  on  the  principle  of  desisting  from  all  attempts  to  induce 
the  Imperial  Government  to  repeal  the  Imperial  statute  on 
this  subject,  would  be  sustained  ?  I  am  unable,  I  confess,  to 
bring  myself  to  entertain  any  such  expectation.  It  is  my 
opinion,  that  if  the  Liberals  were  to  rally  out  of  office  on  the 
cry  that  they  were  asserting  the  right  of  the  Provincial  Govern- 
ment to  deal  with  the  question  of  the  '  Clergy  Reserves '  against 
a  Government  willing,  at  the  bidding  of  the  Imperial  authorities, 
to  abandon  this  claim,  they  would  triumph  in  Upper  Canada 
more  decisively  than  they  did  at  the  late  general  election.  I 
need  hardly  add,  that  if,  after  a  resistance  followed  by  such  a 
triumph,  the  Imperial  Government  were  to  give  way,  it  would 
be  more  than  ever  difficult  to  obtain  from  the  victorious  party 
a  reasonable  consideration  for  Church  interests.  These  remarks 
apply  to  Upper  Canada.  It  is  not  so  easy  to  foresee  what  is 
likely  to  be  the  course  of  events  in  Lower  Canada.  The 

185o--i854.  THE   'CLERGY   RESERVES.'  141 

party  which  looks  to  M.  Papineau  as  its  leader  adopts  on  all  in  Lower 
points  the  most  ultra-democratic  creed.  It  professes  no  very  anada; 
warm  attachment  to  the  endowments  of  the  Roman  Catholic 
Church,  and  is,  of  course,  not  likely  to  prove  itself  more  tender 
with  respect  to  property  set  apart  by  royal  authority  for  the 
support  of  Protestantism.  The  French-Canadian  Represent- 
atives who  do  not  belong  ^to  this  party  are,  I  believe,  generally 
disinclined  to  secularisation,  and  would  be  brought  to  consent 
to  any  such  proposition,  if  at  aU,  only  by  the  pressure  of  some 
supposed  political  necessity.  They  are  however,  almost  with- 
out exception,  committed  to  the  principle  that  the  (  Clergy 
*  Reserves  '  ought  to  be  subject  to  the  control  of  the  Local  Legis- 
lature. While  the  battle  is  waged  on  this  ground,  therefore, 
they  will  probably  continue  to  side  with  the  Upper  Canada 
Liberals,  unless  the  latter  contrive  to  alienate  them  by  some 
act  of  extravagance 

I  am  aware  that  there  lie,  beyond  the  subjects  of  which  . 
I  have  treated,  larger  considerations  of  public  policy  affecting 
this  question,  on  which  I  have  not  ventured  to  touch.  On  the 
one  hand  there  are  persons  who  contend  that,  as  the  (  Clergy 
'  Reserves  '  were  set  apart  by  a  British  Sovereign  for  religious 
uses,  it  is  the  bounden  duty  of  the  Imperial  authorities  to 
maintain  at  all  hazards  the  disposition  thus  made  of  them. « 
This  view  is  hardly,  I  think,  reconcilable  with  the  provisions 
of  the  statute  of  1791  ;  but,  if  it  be  correct,  it  renders  all  dis- 
cussion of  subordinate  topics  and  points  of  mere  expediency, 

On  the  other  hand,  even  among  the  most  attached  friends  of  in  the 
the  Church,  some  are  to  be  found  who  doubt  whether  on  the  Church  J 
whole  the  Church  has  gained  from  the  Reserves  as  much  as  she 
has  lost  by  them — whether  the  ill-will  which  they  have  engen- 
dered, and  the  bar  which  they  have  proved  to  private  munifi- 
cence and  voluntary  exertion,  have  not  more  than  counter- 
balanced the  benefits  which  they  may  have  conferred  ;  and  who 
look  to  secularisation  as  the  only  settlement  that  will  be  final 
and  put  an  end  to  strife. 

Up  to  this  time  Lord  Elgin  appears  to  have  enter- 
tained at  least  a  hope,  that,  if  the  Colony  were  left  to 
itself,  it  would  settle  the  matter  by  distributing  the 
reserved  funds  according  to  some  equitable  proportion 

142  CANADA.  Cn.  VI. 

among  the  clergy  of  all  denominations.  But  as  time 
went  on,  this  hope  became  fainter  and  fainter.  In  his 
next  letter  he  recounts  a  conversation  with  a  person 
(not  named)  4  of  much  intelligence,  and  well  acquainted 
with  Upper  Canada,'  not  a  member  of  the  Church  of 
England,  but  favourable  to  the  maintenance  of  an 
endowment  for  religious  purposes,  who,  after  remarking 
on  the  infatuation  shown  by  the  friends  of  the  Church 
in  1840,  expressed  a  decided  opinion  that  the  vantage 
ground  then  so  heedlessly  sacrificed  was  lost  for  ever, 
so  far  as  colonial  sentiment  was  concerned;  and  that 
4  neither  the  present  nor  any  future  Canadian  Parlia- 
'  ment  would  be  induced  to  enact  a  law  for  perpetuating 
4  the  endowment  in  any  shape.'  The  increasing  likeli- 
hood, however,  of  a  result  which  he  regarded  as  in 
itself  undesirable  could  not  abate  his  desire  to  see  the 
matter  finally  settled,  or  shake  his  conviction  that  the 
Provincial  Parliament  was  the  proper  power  to  settle 
it.  With  his  correspondent  it  was  not  so;  nor  can  it 
be  wondered  at  that  the  organ  of  a  Tory  Government 
should  have  declined  to  accede  to  the  prayer  of  an 
Address,  which  could  hardly  have  any  other  issue  than 
secularisation.  But  the  decision  was  not  destined  to 
be  left  in  the  hands  of  the  Tories.  Before  the  end  of 
852  Lord  Derby  was  replaced  by  Lord  Aberdeen,  and 
Sir  el.  Pakington  by  Lord  Elgin's  old  friend  the  Duke 
of  Newcastle,  who  saw  at  once  the  necessity  of  conced- 
ing  to  the  Canadian  Parliament  the  power  of  settling  the 
stion  after  its  own  fashion.  Accordingly  on  May  21, 
1853,  Lord  Elgin  was  able  to  write  to  him  as  follows : 

C  *  WaS  Certainl7  not  a  little  surprised  by  the  success  with 

passed.  which  you  carried  the  Clergy  Reserves  Bill  through  the  House 
of  Lords.  I  am  assured  that  this  result  was  mainly  due  to 
your  own  personal  exertions.  I  am  quite  confident  that  both 
in  what  you  have  done,  and  in  the  way  you  have  done  it,  you 
have  best  consulted  the  interests  of  the  Province,  the  Church, 
and  the  Empire.  I  trust  that  what  has  happened  will  have 

1850—1854.  THE   'CLERGY   RESERVES.'  143 

here  the  favourable   moral    effect  which  you    anticipate.     It 
cannot  fail  to  have  this  tendency.  f 

As  respects  the  measures  which  will  be  ultimately  adopted 
on  this  vexed  subject,  I  do  not  yet  venture  to  write  with  con- 
fidence. If  the  representation  of  the  Bishop  of  Toronto,  as  to 
the  feelings  which  exist  among  the  great  Protestant  denomi- 
nations on  the  question,  were  correct,  there  could  be  no  doubt 
whatsoever  in  regard  to  the  issue.  For  you  may  depend  upon 
it  the  Roman  Catholics  have  no  wish  to  touch  the  Protestant 
endowment ;  although,  when  they  are  forced  into  the  con- 
troversy, they  will  contend  that  it  does  not  rest  on  the  same 
basis  as  their  own.  But  I  confess  that  I  place  no  reliance 
whatsoever  on  these  calculations  and  representations.  Almost 
the  greatest  evil  which  results  from  the  delegation  to  the 
Imperial  Parliament  of  the  duty  of  legislating  on  Colonial 
questions  of  this  class,  is  the  scope  which  the  system  affor^sTo 
exaggeration  and  mystification.  /  Parties  do  not  meet  in  fair 
conflict  on  their  own  ground,  where  they  can  soon  gain  a 
knowledge  of  their  relative  strength,  and  learn  to  respect  each 
other  accordingly  ;  they  shroud  themselves  in  mystery,  and 
rely  for  victory  on  their  success  in  outdoing  each  other  in  hard 
swearing.  Many  men,  partly  from  goodnature  and  partly 
from  political  motives,  will  sign  a  petition  spiced  and  peppered 
to  tickle  the  palate  of  the  House  of  Lords,  who  will  not  move 
a  yard,  or  sacrifice  a  shilling,  on  behalf  of  the  object  petitioned 
for.  I  much  fear  that  it  will  be  found  that  there  is  much 
division  of  opinion  even  among  members  of  the  laity  of  the 
Church,  with  respect  to  the  propriety  of  maintaining  the 
6  Clergy  Reserves  ; '  and  that,  even  as  regards  a  certain  section 
of  the  clergy,  owing  to  dissatisfaction  with  the  distribution  of 
the  fund  and  with  the  condition  of  dependence  in  which  the 
missionaries  are  kept,  there  is  greater  lukewarmness  on  the 
subject  than  the  fervent  representations  you  have  received 
would  lead  you  to  imagine. 

Meanwhile  there  is  a  very  good  feeling  in  the  Province — a 
great  absence  of  party  violence.  Your  course  has  tended  to 
confirm  these  favourable  symptoms.  We  must  prevent  any- 
thing being  done  during  this  session  of  the  Provincial  Parlia- 
ment to  commit  parties  with  respect  to  the  f  Clergy  Reserves/, 
and  as  respects  the  future  we  must  hope  for  the  best. 

144  CANADA.  Cn.  VI. 

The  The  result  has  been  already  stated.     The    '  Clergy 

Scalar-8     '  Reserves '  were  secularised,  contrary,  no  doubt,  to  the 
ised.          individual  wishes  of  Lord  Elgin;  but  the  general  prin- 
ciple of  Colonial  self-government  had  signally  triumphed, 
and  its  victory  more  than  outweighed  to  him  the  loss  of 
any  particular  cause. 

One  other  measure  remains  to  be  noticed,  on  which 
<Lord  Elgin  had  the  satisfaction  of  inducing  the  Home 
I  Government  to  yield  to  the  wishes  of  the  Colony,  viz. 
*the  Reform  of  the  Provincial  Parliament. 

Keformof        ^J  tne  Constitution  of  1840  the  legislative  power 
theProvin-  was  divided  between  two  chambers:  a  council,  consist- 

cial  Par- 
liament, ing  of  twenty  persons,  who  were  nominated  by  the  Go- 
vernor, and  held  their  seats  for  life ;  and  a  House  of 
Assembly,  whose  eighty-four  members  were  elected  in 
equal  proportions  from  the  two  sections  of  the  province. 
As  the  population  of  the  Colony  grew — and  between  1840 
and  1853  it  nearly  doubled  itself — it  was  natural  that 
the  number  of  legislators  should  be  increased;  and 
there  were  other  reasons  which  made  an  increase 

Increase  of  The  Legislative  Assembly  (wrote  Lord  Elgin  early  in 
1853)  is  now  engaged  on  a  measure  introduced  by  the  Govern- 
ment for  increasing  the  representation  of  the  province.  I 
consider  the  object  of  the  measure  a  very  important  one ;  for, 
with  so  small  a  body  as  eighty  members,  when  parties  are  nearly 
balanced,  individual  votes  become  too  precious,  which  leads  to 
mischief.  I  have  not  experienced  this  evil  to  any  great  extent 
since  I  have  had  a  liberal  administration,  which  has  always 
been  strong  in  the  Assembly  ;  but,  with  my  first  administration, 
I  felt  it  severely. 

To  this  change  no  serious  opposition  was  offered, 
either  in  the  Colony  or  in  the  Imperial  Parliament ;  and 
the  members  of  the  two  Houses  were  raised  to  one  hun- 
dred and  thirty,  and  seventy-two,  respectively.  It  was 
otherwise,  however,  with  the  proposal  to  make  the 

1850— 1854.  REPRESENTATION.  145 

Upper  House  elective;  a  measure  certainly  alien  to 
English  ideas,  but  one  which  Lord  Elgin  appears  to 
have  thought  necessary  for  the  healthy  working  of  the 
constitution  under  the  circumstances  then  existing  in 
the  province.  As  early  as  March,  1850,  he  wrote  to 
Lord  Grey : — 

A  great  deal  is  said  here  at  present  about  rendering  our  Proposal 
jcond  branch  of  the  Legislature  elective.     As  the  advocates  the^Upper 

the  plan,  however,  comprise  two  classes  of  persons,  with  House 
dews  not  only  distinct  but  contradictory,  it  is  difficult  to  fore- 
je  how  they  are  to  agree  on  details,  when  it  assumes  a  prac- 
tical shape.  The  one  class  desire  to  construct  a  more  efficient 
Conservative  body  than  the  present  Council,  the  other  seek  an 
instrument  to  aid  them  in  their  schemes  of  subversion  and 
pillage.  For  rny  own  part,  I  believe  that  a  second  legislative  Reasons 
body,  returned  by  the  same  constituency  as  the  House  of  L 
Assembly,  under  some  differences  with  respect  to  time  and 
mode  of  election,  would  be  a  greater  check  on  ill-considered 
legislation  than  the  Council  as  it  is  now  constituted.  Baldwin 
is  very  unwilling  to  move  in  this  matter.  Having  got  what 
he  imagines  to  be  the  likest  thing  to  the  British  constitution 
he  can  obtain,  he  is  satisfied,  and  averse  to  further  change. 
In  this  instance  I  cannot  but  think  that  he  mistakes  the 
shadow  for  the  substance.  I  admire,  however,  the  perse^ 
verance  with  which  he  proclaims,  '  II  faut  jeter  fancre  de  la 
(  constitution,'  in  reply  to  proposals  of  organic  change ;  though 
I  fully  expect  that,  like  those  who  raised  this  cry  in  1791,  he 
will  yet,  if  he  lives,  find  himself  and  his  state-ship  floundering 
among  rocks  and  shoals,  towards  which  he  never  expected  to 

Three  years  later  he  held  the  same  language  to  the 
Duke  of  Newcastle.  Writing  on  March  26,  1853,  to 
inform  him  that  the  Bill  for  increasing  the  represen- 
tation had  been  carried  in  the  Assembly  by  a  large 
majority,  he  adds : — 

The  Lords  must  be  attended  to  in  the  next  place.  The 
position  of  the  second  chamber  in  our  body  politic  is  at  present 
wholly  unsatisfactory.  The  principle  of  election  must  be 
introduced  in  order  to  give  to  it  the  influence  which  it  ought 


146  CANADA.  CH.  VI. 

to  possess ;  and  that  principle  must  be  so  applied  as  to  admit 
of  the  working  of  Parliamentary  Government  (which  I  for 
one  am  certainly  not  prepared  to  abandon  for  the  American 
system)  with  two  elective  chambers.  I  have  made  some 
suggestions  with  this  view,  which  I  hope  to  be  able  to  induce 
the  Legislature  to  adopt. 

When  our  two  legislative  bodies  shall  have  been  placed  on 
this  improved  footing,  a  greater  stability  will  have  been 
imparted  to  our  constitution,  and  a  greater  strength,  I  believe, 
if  England  act  wisely,  to  the  connection. 

The  Act  The  question  did  not  come  before  the  British  Parlia- 
passed.  ment  till  ^  summer  Of  1854,  after  Lord  Elgin's  visit 
to  England,  during  which  he  had  an  opportunity  of 
stating  his  views  personally  to  the  Government.  At 
his  instance  they  brought  in  a  Bill  to  enable  the 
Colonial  Legislature  to  deal  with  the  subject ;  and  the 
measure  was  carried,  with  few  dissentients,  although 
vehemently  denounced  by  Lord  Derby  in  the  House  of 
Lords.  The  principles  of  colonial  policy  which  Lord 
Durham  had  expressed  so  powerfully  in  1838,  and  on 
which  Lord  Grey  and  Lord  Elgin  had  been  acting  so 
consistently  for  many  years,  had  at  last  prevailed ;  and 
many  of  those  who  most  deprecated  the  proposed 
reform  as  a  downward  step  towards  pure  democracy, 
yet  acknowledged  that,  as  it  had  been  determined  upon 
by  the  deliberate  choice  of  the  Colony,  it  ought  not  to 
be  thwarted  by  the  interference  of  the  mother- country. 
Speech  of  In  the  course  of  the  speech  above  referred  to,  Lord 
Derby.  Derby  made  use  of  the  following  eloquent  words : — 

I  have  dreamed — perhaps  it  was  only  a  dream — that  the 
time  would  come  when,  exercising  a  perfect  control  over 
their  own  internal  affairs,  Parliament  abandoning  its  right  to 
interfere  in  their  legislation,  these  great  and  important  colo- 
nies, combined  together,  should  form  a  monarchical  govern- 
ment, presided  over  either  by  a  permanent  viceroy,  or,  as  an 
independent  sovereign,  by  one  nearly  and  closely  allied  to  the 
present  royal  family  of  this  country. 

I  have  believed  that,  in  such  a  manner,  it  would  be  possible 

1850—1854.  REPRESENTATION.  147 

to  uphold  the  monarchical  principle ;  to  establish  upon  that 
great  continent  a  monarchy  free  as  that  of  this  country,  even 
freer  still  with  regard  to  the  popular  influence  exercised,  but 
yet  a  monarchy  worthy  of  the  name,  and  not  a  mere  empty 
shadow.  I  can  hardly  believe  that,  under  such  a  system,  the 
friendly  connection  and  close  intimacy  between  the  colonies 
and  the  mother-country  would  in  any  way  be  affected  ;  but,  on 
the  contrary,  I  feel  convinced  that  the  change  to  which  I  have 
referred  would  be  productive  of  nothing,  for  years  and  years 
to  come,  but  mutual  harmony  and  friendship,  increased  and 
cemented  as  that  friendship  would  be  by  mutual  appreciation 
of  the  great  and  substantial  benefits  conferred  by  a  free  and 
regulated  monarchy. 

But  pass  this  Bill,  and  that  dream  is  gone  for  ever.  Nothing 
like  a  free  and  regulated  monarchy  could  exist  for  a  single 
moment  under  such  a  constitution  as  that  which  is  now  pro- 
posed for  Canada. 

From  the  moment  that  you  pass  this  constitution,  the  pro- 
gress must  be  rapidly  towards  republicanism,  if  Anything 
could  be  more  really  republican  than  this  Bill. 

The  dream  has  been  realised,  at  least  in  one  of  its 
most  important  features  ;  the  gloomy  forebodings  have 
hitherto  happily  proved  groundless.  But  the  speaker 
of  these  words,  and  the  author  of  the  measure  to  which 
they  refer,  would  probably  have  been  alike  surprised 
at  the  course  which  events  have  taken  respecting  the 
particular  point  then  in  question.  For  once  the  stream 
that  sets  towards  democracy  has  been  seen  to  take  a 
backward  direction;  and  the  constitution  of  the  Do- 
minion of  Canada  has  returned,  as  regards  the  Legisla- 
tive Council,  to  the  Conservative  principle  of  nomina- 
tion by  the  Crown. 

It  does  not  fall  within  the  scope  of  this  memoir  to 
give  an  account  of  the  numerous  administrative  measures 
which  made  the  period  of  Lord  Elgin's  Government  so 
marked  an  epoch  in  the  history  of  Canadian  prosperity. 
It  may  be  well,  however,  to  notice  a  few  points  to  which 

'      L  2 

148  CANADA.  CH.  VI. 

he  himself  thought  it  worth  while  to  advert  in  official 
despatches,  written  towards  the  close  of  his  sojourn  in 
the  country,  and  containing  a  statistical  review  of  the 
marvellously  rapid  progress  which  the  Colony  had  made 
in  all  branches  of  productive  industry. 

The  first  extracts  bear  upon  questions  which  have 
lost  none  of  their  interest  or  importance — the  kindred 
questions  of  emigration,  of  the  demand  for  labour,  and 
of  the  acquisition  and  tenure  of  land. 

Emigra-  The  sufferings  of  the  Irish  during  that  calamitous  period 

[1847]  induced  philanthropic  persons  to  put  forward  schemes 
of  systematic  colonisation,  based  in  some  instances  on  the  as- 
sumption that  it  was  for  the  interest  of  the  emigrants  that  they 
should  be  as  much  as  possible  concentrated  in  particular  por- 
tions of  the  territories  to  which  they  might  proceed,  so  as  to 
form  communities  complete  in  themselves,  and  to  remain  subject 
to  the  influences,  religious  and  social,  under  which  they  had 
lived  previously  to  emigration.  It  was  proposed,  if  I  rightly 
remember,  according  to  one  of  those  schemes,  that  large  num- 
bers of  Irish  with  their  priests  and  home  associations  should  be 
established  by  Government  in  some  unoccupied  part  of  Canada. 
I  believe  that  such  schemes,  however  benevolent  their  design, 
rest  on  a  complete  misconception  of  what  is  for  the  interest 
both  of  the  Colony  and  of  t«he  emigrants.  It  is  almost  in-* 
variably  found  that  emigrants  who  thus  isolate  themselves, 
whatever  their  origin  or  antecedents,  lag  behind  their  neigh- 
bours 5  and  I  am  inclined  to  think  that,  as  a  general  rule,  in 
the  case  of  communities  whose  social  and  political  organisation 
is  as  far  advanced  as  that  of  the  North  American  Colonies,  it 
is  for  the  interest  of  all  parties  that  new  comers,  instead  of 
dwelling  apart  and  bound  together  by  the  affinities  whether  of 
sect  or  party,  which  united  them  in  the  country  which  they 
have  left,  should  be  dispersed  as  widely  as  possible  among  the 
population  already  established  in  that  to  which  they  transfer 

It  may  not  be  altogether  irrelevant  to  mention,  as  bearing  on 
this  subject,  that  the  painful  circumstances  which  attended  the 
emigration  of  1847  created  for  a  time  in  this  Province  a  cer- 
tain prejudice  against  emigration  generally.  The  poll  tax 

1860—1854.  EMIGRATION.  149 

>n  emigrants  was  increased,  and  the  opinion  widely  dissemi- 
lated  that,  however  desirable  the  introduction  of  capitalists 
light  be,  an  emigration  of  persons  of  the  poorer  classes  was 
likely  to  prove  a  burden  rather  than  a  benefit.  Commercial 
depression,  and  apprehensions  as  to  the  probable  effect  of  the 
Free-trade  policy  of  Great  Britain  on  the  prosperity  of  the 
Colonies,  had  an  influence  in  the  same  direction.  To  counter- 
act these  tendencies  which  were  calculated,  as  I  thought,  to  be 
injurious  in  the  long  run  both  to  the  Mother-country  and  the 
Province,  public  attention  was  especially  directed,  in  the  Speech 
delivered  from  the  Throne  in  1849,  to  emigration  by  way  of 
the  St.  Lawrence,  as  a  branch  of  trade  which  it  was  most  de- 
sirable to  cultivate  (irrespective  altogether  of  its  bearing  on 
the  settlement  of  the  country)  in  consequence  of  the  great  ex- 
cess of  exports  over  imports  by  that  route,  and  the  consequent 
enhancement  of  freights  outwards.  These  views  obtained  very 
general  assent,  and  the  measures  which  have  been  adopted 
since  that  period  to  render  this  route  attractive  to  emigrants 
destined  for  the  West  (the  effect  of  which  is  beginning  now  to 
be  visible  in  the  yearly  increasing  amount  of  emigration  by 
way  of  Quebec  from  the  continent  of  Europe),  are  calculated 
not  only  to  promote  the  trade  of  the  Province,  but  also  to  make 
settlers  of  a  superior  class  acquainted  with  its  advantages.1 

This  important  region  (the  valley  of  the  Ottawa)  takes  the  Ottawa 
name  by  which  it  is  designated  in  popular  parlance  from  the  Valley- 
mighty  stream  which  flows  through  it,  and  which,  though  it  be 
but  a  tributary  of  the  St.  Lawrence,  is  one  of  the  largest  of  the 
rivers  that  run  uninterruptedly  from  the  source  to  the  discharge 
within  the  dominions  of  the  Queen.  It  drains  an  area  of  about 
80,000  square  miles,  and  receives  at  various  points  in  its  course 
the  waters  of  streams,  some  of  which  equal  in  magnitude  the 
chief  rivers  of  Great  Britain.  These  streams  open  up  to  the 
enterprise  of  the  lumberman  the  almost  inexhaustible  pine 
forests  with  which  this,  region  is  clothed,  and  afford  the  means 
of  transporting  their  produce  to  market.  In  improving  these 
natural  advantages  considerable  sums  are  expended  by  private 
individuals.  £50,000  currency  was  voted  by  Parliament  last 
session  for  the  purpose  of  removing  certain  obstacles  to  the 

1  Despatch  of  December  18,  1854. 

150  CANADA.  CH.  VI. 

navigation  of  the  Upper  Ottawa,  by  the  construction  of  a  canal 
at  a  point  which  is  now  obstructed  by  rapids. 

Demand  From  the  nature  of  the  business,  the  lumbering  trade  falls 

necessarily  in  a  great  measure  into  the  hands  of  persons  of 
capital,  who  employ  large  bodies  of  men  at  points  far  removed 
from  markets,  and  who  are  therefore  called  upon  to  make  con- 
siderable advances  in  providing  food  and  necessaries  for  their 
labourers,  as  well  as  in  building  slides  and  otherwise  facilita- 
ting the  passage  of  timber  along  the  streams  and  rivers.  Many 
thousands  of  men  are  employed  during  the  winter  in  these 
remote  forests,  preparing  the  timber  which  is  transported  during 
the  summer  in  rafts,  or,  if  sawn,  in  boats,  to  Quebec  when 
destined  for  England,  and  up  the  Richelieu  River  when  in- 
tended for  the  United  States.  It  is  a  most  interesting  fact, 
both  in  a  moral  and  hygienic  view,  that  for  some  years  past 
intoxicating  liquors  have  been  rigorously  excluded  from  almost 
all  the  chantiers,  as  the  dwellings  of  the  lumbermen  in  these 
distant  regions  are  styled  ;  and  that,  notwithstanding  the  expo- 
sure of  the  men  to  cold  during  the  winter  and  wet  in  the  spring, 
the  result  of  the  experiment  has  been  entirely  satisfactory. 

The  bearing  of  the  lumbering  business  on  the  settlement  of 
the  country  is  a  point  well  worthy  of  notice.  The  farmer  who 
undertakes  to  cultivate  unreclaimed  land  in  new  countries, 
generally  finds  that  not  only  does  every  step  of  advance  which 
he  makes  in  the  wilderness,  by  removing  him  from  the  centres 
of  trade  and  civilisation,  enhance  the  cost  of  all  he  has  to  pur- 
chase, but  that,  moreover,  it  diminishes  the  value  of  what  he 
has  to  sell.  It  is  not  so,  however,  with  the  farmer  who  follows 
in  the  wake  of  the  lumbermen.  He  finds,  on  the  contrary,  in 
the  wants  of  the  latter,  a  ready  demand  for  all  that  he  produces, 
at  a  price  not  only  equal  to  that  procurable  in  the  ordinary 
marts,  but  increased  by  the  cost  of  transport  from  them  to  the 
scene  of  the  lumbering  operations.  This  circumstance,  no 
doubt,  powerfully  contributes  to  promote  the  settlement  of 
those  districts,  and  attracts  population  to  sections  of  the  country 
which,  in  the  absence  of  any  such  inducement,  would  probably 
remain  for  long  periods  uninhabited.1 

Wild  land.       The  large  amount  of  wild  land  held  by  individuals  and  cor- 
porations, renders  the  disposal  of  the  public  domain  a  question 

1  Despatch  of  August  16,  1853. 

1850—1854.  TENURE   OF   LAND.  151 

of  less  urgency  in  this  than  in  some  other  colonies.  Opinion 
in  the  Province  runs  strongly  in  favour  of  facilitating  its 
acquisition  in  small  lots  by  actual  settlers,  and  of  putting  all 
possible  obstacles  in  the  way  of  its  falling  into  the  hands  of 
speculators.  This  opinion  is  founded  no  doubt  in  part  on  a 
jealousy  of  great  landholders ;  but  it  is  mainly,  I  apprehend, 
attributable  to  a  sense  of  the  inconvenience  and  damage  which 
are  experienced  in  young  countries,  when  considerable  tracts 
of  land  are  kept  out  of  the  market  in  the  midst  of  districts  that 
are  in  course  of  settlement.  To  this  feeling  much  of  the  hos- 
tility to  the  *  Clergy  Reserves '  was  originally  due.  The  upset 
price  of  Government  wild  land  in  Canada  varies  from  7.9.  6d. 
currency  to  Is.  currency  an  acre,  according  to  quality,  and  by 
the  rules  of  the  Crown  Land  Department  now  in  force,  it  is 
conceded  at  these  rates,  except  in  special  cases,  in  lots  of  not 
more  than  200  'acres,  on  condition  of  actual  settlement,  of  erect- 
ing a  dwelling-house,  and  clearing  one-fourth  of  the  lot  before 
the  patent  can  be  obtained.  The  price  is  payable  in  some 
parts  of  the  country  in  ten  yearly  instalments ;  in  others  in 
five  ;  with  interest  in  both  cases  from  the  date  of  sale. 

I  have  little  faith  in  the  efficacy  of  such  devices  to  compel 
actual  settlement.  They  hinder  the  free  circulation  of  capital, 
are  easily  evaded,  and  seem  to  be  especially  out  of  place  where 
wild  lands  are  subject  to  taxation  for  municipal  purposes,  as  is 
the  case  in  Upper  Canada.1 

A  good  deal  of  land  in  Lower  Canada  is  held  in  seigniory,  Seigniorial 
under  a  species  of  feudal  tenure,  with  respect  to  the  conditions  tenure- 
of  which  a  controversy  has  arisen  which  threatens,  unless  some 
equitable  mode  of  adjusting  it  be  speedily  devised,  to  be  pro- 
ductive of  very  serious  consequences.  A  certain  class  of  jurists 
contend,  that  by  the  custom  of  the  country,  established  before 
its  conquest  by  Great  Britain,  the  seigniors  were  bound  to 
concede  their  lands  in  lots  of  about  100  acres  to  the  first 
applicant,  in  consideration  of  the  payment  of  certain  dues,  and 
of  a  rent  which  never,  as  they  allege,  exceeded  one  penny  an 
acre  ;  and  they  quote  edicts  of  the  French  monarchs  to  show 
that  the  governor  and  intendant,  when  the  seignior  was  con- 
tumacious, could  seize  the  land,  and  make  the  concession  in 

1  Despatch  of  December  18,  1854. 

152  '  CANADA.  Cn.  VI. 

spite  of  him,  taking  the  rent  for  the  Crown.  The  seigniors, 
on  the  other  hand,  plead  the  decisions  of  the  courts  since  the 
conquest  in  vindication  of  their  claim  to  receive  such  rents  as 
they  can  bargain  for.  Independently  of  this  controversy,  the 
incidents  of  the  tenure  are  in  other  respects  calculated  to  exer- 
cise an  unfavourable  influence  on  the  progress  of  the  Province  ; 
and  its  abolition,  if  it  could  be  effected  without  injustice,  would, 
no  doubt,  be  a  highly  beneficial  measure.1 

Still  more  important  and  interesting  at  this  time  is 
the  following  sketch  of  the  Educational  System  of 
Upper  Canada  ;  the  4  Common  Schools  '  and  4  Public 
4  School  Libraries,'  which  have  attracted  so  much  the 
attention  of  our  own  educationists.  Nor  is  it  uninstruc- 
tive  to  note  the  contrast  between  what  had  been 
achieved  in  the  colony  nearly  twenty  years  ago,  and 
the  still  unsettled  condition  of  similar  questions  in  the 
mother- country :  a  contrast  which  may  perhaps  call  to 
mind  the  remarks  of  Lord  Elgin  already  quoted,  as  to 
the  rapid  growth  which  ensues  when  the  seeds  that  fall 
from  ancient  experience  are  dropped  into  a  virgin  soil.2 

Education.  In  1847  the  Normal  School,  which  may  be  considered  the 
foundation  of  the  system,  was  instituted,  and  at  the  close  ol 
1853,  the  first  volume  issued  from  the  Educational  Depart- 
ment to  the  Public  School  Libraries,  which  are  its  crown  and 
completion.  .  .  .  The  term  school  libraries  does  not  imply 
that  the  libraries  in  question  are  specially  designed  for 
the  benefit  of  common  school  pupils.  They  are,  in  point  of 
fact,  public  libraries  intended  for  the  use  of  the  general  popu- 
lation; and  they  are  entitled  school  libraries  because  their 
establishment  has  been  provided  for  in  the  School  Acts,  and 
their  management  confided  to  the  school  authorities. 
Public  Public  School  Libraries  then,  similar  to  those  which  are 

School  now  being  introduced  into  Canada,  have  been  in  operation  for 
several  years  in  some  states  of  the  neighbouring  Union,  and 
many  of  the  most  valuable  features  of  the  Canadian  system 
have  been  borrowed  from  them.  In  most  of  the  States,  how- 

1  Despatch  of  December  18,  1854.     The  abolition  was  shortly  afterwards, 
eatisfactorily  effected. 

2  Vide  supra,  p.  48. 

1850—1854.  EDUCATIONAL   SYSTEM.  153 

ever,  which  have  appropriated  funds  for  library  purposes,  the 
selection  of  the  books  has  been  left  to  the  trustees  appointed 
by  the  different  districts,  many  of  whom  are  ill-qualified  for  the 
task ;  and  the  consequence  has  been,  that  the  travelling  pedlars, 
who  offer  the  most  showy  books  at  the  lowest  prices,  have  had 
the  principal  share  in  furnishing  the  libraries.  In  introducing 
the  system  into  Canada,  precautions  have  been  taken  which 
will,  I  trust,  have  the  effect  of  obviating  this  great  evil. 

In  the  School  Act  of  1850,  which  first  set  apart  a  sum  of 
money  for  the  establishment  and  support  of  school  libraries, 
it  is  declared  to  be  the  duty  of  the  chief  superintendent  of 
education  to  apportion  the  sum  granted  for  this  purpose  by 
the  legislature  under  the  following  condition :  (  That  no  aid 
e  should  be  given  towards  the  establishment  and  support  of 
(  any  school  library  unless  an  equal  amount  be  contributed  or 
'  expended  from  local  sources  for  the  same ; '  and  the  Council 
of  Instruction  is  required  to  examine,  and  at  its  discretion 
recommend  or  disapprove  of  text  books  for  the  use  of  schools, 
or  books  for  school  libraries  ;  *  provided  that  no  portion  of 
6  the  legislative  school  grant  shall  be  applied  in  aid  of  any 
'  school  in  which  any  book  is  used  that  has  been  disapproved 
'  of  by  the  Council,  and  public  notice  given  of  such  disap- 
6  proval.' 

The  system  of  public  instruction  in  Upper  Canada  is  en-  Common 
grafted  upon  the  municipal  institutions  of  the  Province,  to  scho°  s' 
which  an  organisation  very  complete  in  its  details,  and  admi- 
rably adapted  to  develope  the  resources,  confirm  the  credit,  and 
promote  the  moral  and  social  interests  of  a  young  country,  was 
imparted  by  an  Act  passed  in  1849.  The  law  by  which  the 
common  schools  are  regulated  was  enacted  in  1850,  and  it 
embraces  all  the  modifications  and  improvements  suggested  by 
experience  in  the  provisions  of  the  several  school  Acts  passed 
subsequently  to  1841,  when  the  important  principle  of  granting 
money  to  each  county  on  condition  that  an  equal  amount  were 
raised  within  it  by  local  assessment,  was  first  introduced  into 
the  statute-book. 

The  development  of  individual  self-reliance  and  local  exer-  Local 

tion,  under  the  superintendence  of  a  central  authority  exercising  superin- 
.    a  ,  i      •      i  i     •       i  T  •    i      teudence. 

an  influence  almost  exclusively  moral,  is  the  ruling  principle 

of  the  system.     Accordingly,  it  rests  with  the  freeholders  and 
householders  of  each  school   section  to  decide  whether   they 

154  '  CANADA.  Cn.  VI. 

will  support  their  school  by  voluntary  subscription,  by  rate 
bill  for  each  pupil  attending  the  school  (which  must  not,  how- 
ever, exceed  Is.  per  month),  or  by  rates  on  property.  The 
trustees  elected  by  the  same  freeholders  and  householders  are 
required  to  determine  the  amount  to  be  raised  within  their  re- 
spective school  sections  for  all  school  purposes  whatsoever,  to 
hire  teachers  from  among  persons  holding  legal  certificates  of 
qualification,  and  to  agree  with  them  as  to  salary.  On  the 
local  superintendents  appointed  by  the  county  councils  is 
devolved  the  duty  of  apportioning  the  legislative  grant  among 
the  school  sections  within  the  county,  of  inspecting  the 
schools,  and  reporting  upon  them  to  the  chief  superintendent. 
The  county  boards  of  public  instruction,  composed  of  the  local 
superintendent  or  superintendents,  and  the  trustees  of  the 
county  grammar  school,  examine  candidates  for  the  office 
of  teacher,  and  give  certificates  of  qualification  which  are 
valid  for  the  county;  the  chief  superintendent  giving  certi- 
ficates to  normal  school  pupils  which  are  valid  for  the  Pro- 
vince ;  while  the  chief  superintendent,  who  holds  his  appoint- 
ment from  the  Crown,  aided  in  specified  cases  by  the  Council 
of  Public  Instruction,  has  under  his  especial  charge  the  normal 
and  model  schools,  besides  exercising  a  general  control  over 
the  whole  system. 

Eeligiou  The  question  of  religious  instruction  as  connected  with  the 

tion™'  common  school  system,  presented  even  more  than  ordinary 
difficulty  in  a  community  where  there  is  so  much  diversity  of 
opinion  on  religious  subjects,  and  where  all  denominations  are 
in  the  eye  of  the  law  on  a  footing  of  entire  equality.  It  is  laid 
down  as  a  fundamental  principle,  that  as  the  common  schools 
are  not  boarding  but  day  schools,  and  as  the  pupils  are  under 
the  care  of  their  parents  or  guardians  during  the  Sunday,  and 
a  considerable  portion  of  each  week  day,  it  is  not  intended  that 
the  functions  of  the  common  school  teacher  should  supersede 
those  of  the  parent  and  pastor  of  the  child.  Accordingly,  the 
law  contents  itself  with  providing  on  this  head,  '  that  in  any 
(  model  or  common  school  established  under  this  act,  no 
(  child  shall  be  required  to  read  or  study  in  or  from  any  reli- 
'  gious  book,  or  to  join  in  any  exercise  of  devotion  or  religion, 
<  which  shall  be  objected  to  by  his  or  her  parents  or  guardians  ; 
'  provided  always,  that  within  this  limitation  pupils  shall  be 
'  allowed  to  receive  such  religious  instruction  as  their  parents 

1850—1854.  EDUCATIONAL   SYSTEM.  155 

f  or  guardians  shall  desire,  according  to  the  general  regulations 
(  which  shall  be  provided  according  to  law.'  And  it  authorises 
under  certain  regulations  the  establishment  of  a  separate 
school  for  Protestants  or  Roman  Catholics,  as  the  case  may 
be,  when  the  teacher  of  the  common  school  is  of  the  opposite 

Clergymen  recognised  by  law,  of  whatever  denomination,  are 
made  ex  officio  visitors  of  the  schools  in  townships,  cities,  towns, 
or  villages  where  they  reside,  or  have  pastoral  charge.  The 
chief  superintendent,  Dr.  Ryerson,  remarks  on  this  head : 

( The    clergy    of    the  county  have   access   to    each   of  its   rphe 
'  schools ;  and  we  know  of  no  instance  in  which  the  school  clergy. 
'  has   been   made   the   place    of  religious  discord,  but  many 
'  instances,  especially  on  occasions  of  quarterly  public   exa- 
s  minations,  in  which  the  school  has  witnessed  tbe  assemblage 
'  and  friendly  intercourse  of  clergy  of  various  religious  per- 
'  suasions,  and  thus  become  the  radiating  centre  of  a  spirit  of 
*  Christian  charity  and  potent  cooperation  in  the  primary  work 
(  of  a  people's  civilisation  and  happiness.' 

He  adds  with  reference  to  the  subject  generally,  (  The  more 
f  carefully  the  question  of  religion  in  connection  with  a  system 
f  of  common  schools  is  examined,  the  more  clearly,  I  think,  it 
f  will  appear,  that  it  has  been  left  where  it  properly  belongs  — 
'  with  the  local  school  municipalities,  parents,  and  managers 
'  of  schools ;  the  Government  protecting  the  right  of  each 
4  parent  and  child,  but  beyond  this,  and  beyond  the  principles 
'  and  duties  of  morality  common  to  all  classes,  neither  com- 
'  pelling  nor  prohibiting  ;  recognising  the  duties  of  pastors  and 
'  parents  as  well  as  of  school  trustees  and  teachers,  and  con- 
'  sidering  the  united  labours  of  all  as  constituting  the  system 
f  of  education  for  the  youth  of  the  country.' 

Lord  Elgin  himself  had  always  shown  a  profound 
sense  of  the  importance  of  thus  making  religion  the 
groundwork  of  education.  Speaking  on  occasion  of  the 
opening  of  a  normal  school,  after  noticing  the  zealous 
and  wisely-directed  exertions  which  had  '  enabled 
i  Upper  Canada  to  place  itself  in  the  van  among  the 
'  nations,  in  the  great  and  important  work  of  providing 

156  CANADA.  Cu.  ^7l. 

4  an  efficient  system  of  general  education  for  the  whole 
4  community/  he  proceeded :— » 

what  is  And  now  let  me  ask  this  intelligent  audience,  who  have  so 

education?  kindly  listened  to  me  up  to  this  moment — let  me  ask  them  to 
consider,  in  all  seriousness  and  earnestness,  what  that  great 
work  really  is.  I  do  not  think  that  I  shall  be  chargeable  with 
exaggeration  when  I  affirm,  that  it  is  the  work  of  our  day  and 
generation ;  that  it  is  the  problem  in  our  modern  society  which 
is  most  difficult  of  solution ;  that  it  is  the  ground  upon  which 
earnest  and  zealous  men  unhappily  too  often,  and  in  too  many 
countries  meet,  not  to  co-operate  but  to  wrangle ;  while  the  poor 
and  the  ignorant  multitudes  around  them  are  starving  and 
perishing  for  lack  of  knowledge.  Well,  then,  how  has  Upper 
Canada  addressed  herself  to  the  execution  of  this  great  work  ? 
How  has  she  sought  to  solve  this  problem — to  overcome  this 
difficulty?  Sir,  I  understand  from  your  statements — and  I 
come  to  the  same  conclusion  from  my  own  investigation  and 
observation — that  it  is  the  principle  of  our  common  school 
educational  system,  that  its  foundation  is  laid  deep  in  the  firm 
rock  of  our  common  Christianity.  I  understand,  sir,  that  while 
the  varying  views  and  opinions  of  a  mixed  religious  society 
are  scrupulously  respected,  while  every  semblance  of  dictation 
is  carefully  avoided,  it  is  desired,  it  is  earnestly  recommended, 
it  is  confidently  expected  and  hoped,  that  every  child  who 
attends  our  common  schools  shall  learn  there  that  he  is  a 
being  who  has  an  interest  in  eternity  as  well  as  in  time ;  that 
he  has  a  Father,  towards  whom  he  stands  in  a  closer  and 
more  aifecting,  and  more  endearing  relationship  than  to  any 
earthly  father,  and  that  Father  is  in  heaven ;  that  he  has  a 
hope,  far  transcending  every  earthly  hope — a  hope  full  of 
immortality— the  hope,  namely,  that  that  Father's  kingdom 
may  come ;  that  he  has  a  duty  which,  like  the  sun  in  our 
celestial  system,  stands  in  the  centre  of  his  moral  obligations, 
shedding  upon  them  a  hallowing  light,  which  they  in 'their 
turn  reflect  and  absorb — the  duty  of  striving  to  prove  by  his 
life  and  conversation  the  sincerity  of  his  prayer,  that  that 
Father's  will  may  be  done  upon  earth  as  it  is  done  in  heaven. 
I  understand,  sir,  that  upon  the  broad  and  solid  platform  which 
is  raised  upon  that  good  foundation,  we  invite  the  ministers  of 
religion,  of  all  denominations — the  de  facto  spiritual  guides 

1850— .1854.  ABORIGINAL   TRIBES.  157 

of  the  people  of  the  country — to  take  their  stand  along  with 
us ;  that,  so  far  from  hampering  or  impeding  them  in  the 
exercise  of  their  sacred  functions,  we  ask  and  we  beg  them  to 
take  the  children — the  lambs  of  the  flock  which  are  committed 
to  their  care — aside,  and  to  lead  them  to  those  pastures  and 
streams  where  they  will  find,  as  they  believe,  the  food  of  life 
and  the  waters  of  consolation. 

One  more  extract  must  be  given  from  the  despatch 
already  quoted,  because  it  illustrates  a  feature  in  his 
character,  to  which  the  subsequent  course  of  his  life 
gave  such  marked  prominence — his  generous  and  tender 
feeling  of  what  was  due  to  subject  or  inferior  races;  a 
sad  feeling  in  this  case,  and  but  faintly  supported  by 
any  hope  of  being  able  to  do  anything  for  their  benefit. 

It  is  painful  to  turn  from  reviewing  the  progress  of  the  Aboriginal 
European  population  and  their  descendants  established  in  this 
portion  of  America,  to  contemplate  the  condition  and  prospects 
of  the  aboriginal  tribes.  It  cannot,  I  fear,  be  affirmed  with 
truth,  that  the  difficult  problem  of  reconciling  the  interests  of 
an  inferior  and  native  race  with  those  of  an  intrusive  and  su- 
perior one,  has  as  yet  been  satisfactorily  solved  on  this  conti- 
nent. In  the  United  States,  the  course  of  proceeding  generally 
followed  in  this  matter  has  been  that  of  compelling  the  Red 
man,  through  the  influence  of  persuasion  or  force,  to  make  way 
for  the  White,  by  retreating  farther  and  farther  into  the  wilder- 
ness ;  a  mode  of  dealing  with  the  case  which  necessarily 
entails  the  occasional  adoption  of  harsh  measures,  and  which 
ceases  to  be  practicable  when  civilisation  approaches  the 
limits  of  the  territory  to  be  occupied.  In  Canada,  the  tribes 
have  been  permitted  to  dwell  among  the  scenes  of  their  early 
associations  and  traditions,  on  lands  reserved  from  the  advan- 
cing tide  of  White  settlement,  and  set  apart  for  their  use.  But 
this  system,  though  more  lenient  in  its  operation  than  the  other, 
is  not  unattended  with  difficulties  of  its  own.  The  laws  en- 
acted for  their  protection,  and  in  the  absence  of  which  they 
fall  an  easy  prey  to  the  more  unscrupulous  among  their  ener~ 
getic  neighbours,  tend  to  keep  them  in  a  condition  of  perpetual 
pupillage,  and  the  relation  subsisting  between  them  and  the 
Government,  which  treats  them,  partly  as  independent  peoples, 

158  CANADA.  CH.  VI. 

and  partly  as  infants  under  its  guardianship,  involves  many 
anomalies  and  contradictions.  Unless  there  be  some  reason- 
able ground  for  the  hope  that  they  will  be  eventually  absorbed 
in  the  general  population  of  the  country,  the  Canadian  system  J 
is  probably  destined  in  the  long  run  to  prove  as  disastrous  to 
them  as  that  of  the  United  States.  In  1846  and  1847  the 
attempt  was  first  made  to  establish  among  them  industrial 
boarding  schools,  in  part  supported  by  contributions  from 
their  own  funds.  If  schools  of  this  description  be  properly 
conducted,  it  may,  I  think,  be  expected  that,  among  the  youth 
trained  at  them,  a  certain  proportion  at  least  will  be  so  far 
civilised,  as  to  be  capable  of  making  their  way  in  life  without 
exceptional  privileges  or  restraints.  It  would  be,  I  am  inclined 
to  believe,  expedient  that  any  Indian,  showing  this  capacity, 
should  be  permitted,  after  sufficient  trial,  to  receive  from  the 
common  property  of  the  tribe  of  which  he  was  a  member  (on 
the  understanding  of  course  that  neither  he  nor  his  descendants 
had  thenceforward  any  claim  upon  it),  a  sum  equivalent  to 
his  interest  in  it,  as  a  means  to  enable  him  to  start  in  indepen- 
dent life.  The  process  of  transition  from  their  present  semi- 
barbarous  condition  could  hardly  fail  to  be  promoted  by  a 
scheme  of  this  description  if  it  were  judiciously  carried  out. 

Eelations         jfo  sketch  of  a  Governor's  life  in  Canada  would  be 

with  the  .  . 

United       complete  which  did  not  contain  some  account  of  his 
relations  with  the  great  neighbouring  republic. 

We  have  seen  that,  at  the  beginning  of  his  govern- 
ment, Lord  Elgin's  cares  were  increased  by  threats,  and 
more  than  threats,  of  interference  on  the  part  of  c  sym- 
pathisers '  from  some  of  the  American  States  ;  and  that 
he  looked  upon  the  likelihood  of  lawless  inroad,  not  to 
speak  of  the  possibility  of  lawful  war,  as  affording 
solid  reason  for  England's  maintaining  a  body  of  troops 
in  the  Colony.  But  it  must  not  be  supposed  that  his 
attitude  towards  the  Government  or  people  of  the 
States  was  one  of  jealousy  or  hostility.  The  loyal 
friendliness  of  the  Government  in  repressing  the  intem- 
perate sympathies  of  certain  of  its  citizens,  he  cordially 

1850-1854.  RELATIONS   WITH   THE   UNITED   STATES.         159 

acknowledged ;  and  with  the  people  he  did  his  utmost 
to  encourage  the  freest  and  friendliest  intercourse, 
social  and  commercial,  not  only  in  order  that  the  inha- 
bitants of  the  two  countries  might  provoke  one  another 
to  increased  activity  in  the  good  work  of  civilisation, 
but  also  that  they  might  know  and  understand  one 
another  ;  and  that  he  might  have  in  the  public  opinion 
of  the  United  States  that  intelligent  support  which  he 
despaired  of  finding  in  England,  owing  to  the  strange 
ignorance  and  indifference  which  so  unfortunately  pre- 
vails there  on  all  colonial  subjects. 

The  following  letters  refer  to  some  of  the  occasions 
on  which  mutual  civilities  were  interchanged : 

To  Mr.  Crampton,  British  Minister  at  Washington. 

Montreal,  May  21,  1849. 

I  am  much  indebted  to  you   for  your  letter  of  the  10th,  Their 
conveying  an  intimation  of  the  intentions  of  the  American  d°^  ^on" 
Government  with  reference  to  improper  interference  on  the  1849. 
part  of  American   citizens  in   Canadian  affairs,   which  is  so 
honourable  to  General  Taylor  and  his  cabinet.     If  I  should 
receive  any  information  leading  me  to  believe  that  any  such 
interference  is  contemplated,  I  shall  not  fail  to  communicate 
with  you  at  once  on  the  subject.     My  impression  is,  that  there 
is  not  at  present  much  to  be  apprehended  on  that  score ;  for, 
although  there  is  unhappily  considerable  excitement  and  irrita- 
tion in  Canada,  the  subject  in  dispute1   is  not  one  which  is 
likely  to  conciliate  much  sympathy   among  our  neighbours. 
I  do  not,  however,  less  highly  appreciate  the  good  feeling  and 
cordiality  evinced  by  the  Executive  Government  of  the  United 

To  the  Earl  Grey. 

Toronto,  June  14,  1850. 

Our  expedition  to  the  Welland  Canal  went  off  admirably,  Mutual 
the  only  drawback  being  that  we  attempted  too  much.      Mr.  courtesies. 
Merritt,  who  planned  the  affair,  gave  it  out  that  we  were  to 
pass  through  the  canal,  and  to  touch  at  Buffalo  on  our  way 
from  Lake  Erie  to  the  Falls  of  Niagara,  in  one  day.      On 

1  The  Eebellion  Losses  Bill. 

160  CANADA.  CiJ.  VI. 

this  hint  the  Buffalonians  made  preparations  for  our  reception 
on  the  most  magnificent  scale.  ...  As  might  have  been  ex- 
pected, however,  what  with  addresses,  speeches,  and  mishaps  of 
various  kinds,  such  as  are  to  be  looked  for  in  canal  travelling 
on  a  large  scale  (for  our  party  consisted  of  some  three  hun- 
dred), night  overtook  us  before  we  reached  Lake  Erie,  and 
Buffalo  had  to  be  given  up.  I  very  much  regret  this,  as  I 
fear  the  citizens  were  disappointed.  Some  of  our  party  went 
there  the  next  day,  and  were  most  hospitably  received. 

To  the  Earl  Grey. 

Toronto,  August  16,  1850. 

Our  Session  has  closed  with  great  eclat.  On  Thursday 
week  our  Buffalo  friends,  with  other  persons  of  distinction 
from  different  parts  of  the  Union,  arrived  here,  to  the  number 
of  about  two  hundred.  They  were  entertained  that  evening 
at  a  ball  in  the  City  Hall,  which  did  great  credit  to  the  good 
taste  and  hospitality  of  the  hosts.  Next  day  there  was  a 
review  in  the  forenoon  and  a  fete  at  my  house,  which  lasted 
from  half-past  four  to  twelve.  I  succeeded  in  enabling  a  party 
of  five  hundred  to  sit  down  together  to  dinner ;  and,  what 
with  a  few  speeches,  fireworks,  and  dances,  I  believe  I  may 
say  the  citizens  went  away  thoroughly  pleased.1  On  Saturday, 
at  noon,  many  of  the  party  assisted  at  the  prorogation. 

These  matters  may  seem  trivial  to  you  among  the  graver 
concerns  of  state  ;  nevertheless,  I  am  sanguine  enough  to  hope 
that  the  courtesies  which  have  passed  this  year  between  the 
Buffalonians  and  us  will  not  be  without  their  fruit.  The  bulk 

1    Some  years    afterwards,   when  (  "  fellow !  He  ought  to  be  on  our  side 

speaking    of    these    festivities,    the  ' "  of  the  line  !  We  would  make  him 

Mayor  of  Buffalo  said  :  '  Never  shall  * "  mayor  of  our  city !  "  As  some  new 

1 1  forget  the  admiration  elicited  by  '  burst  of  eloquence  breaks  from  the 

1  Lord  Elgin's  beautiful  speech    on  <  speaker's  lips,    my    worthy    friend 

'  that  occasion.     Upon  the  American  '  exclaims,  "  How  magnificently  he 

1  visitors  (who,  it  must  be  confessed,  ' "  talks !  Yes,  by  George,  we'd  make 

'do  not  look  for  the  highest  order  of  { (t  him    governor — governor  of  the 

*  intellect  in   the  appointees  of  the  < "  state ! "  As  the  noble  Earl,  by  some 

<  Crown)  the  effect  was  amusing.     A  '  brilliant  hit,  carries  the  assemblage 

<  sterling  Yankee  friend,  while  the  '  with  a  full  round  of  applause,  "Ah !" 
1  Governor  was  speaking,  sat  by  my  f  cries   my   Yankee   friend,    with    a 
'  side,  who  occasionally  gave  vent  to  *  hearty  slap  on  my  shoulder,   "  by 

*  his  feelings  as  the  speech  progressed,  <"  Heaven,  if  he  were  on  our  side, 
1  -each  sentence  increasing  in  beauty  '"we'd   make    him  President — no- 
'and  eloquence,  by  such  approving  tlt thing  less  than  President!  "  ' 
'exclamations  as  "He's  a  glorious 

1850—1854.    RELATIONS  WITH  THE   UNITED   STATES.      161 

of  those  who  came  here  from  Buffalo,  including  the  Mayor — 
a  very  able  man  and  powerful  speaker — are  of  the  democratic 
party,  and  held  some  years  ago  very  different  views  from  those 
which  they  expressed  on  this  visit.  They  found  here  the 
warmest  and  most  cordial  welcome  from  all,  Her  Majesty's 
representative  not  excepted.  But  they  saw,  I  venture  to  say 
almost  with  certainty,  nothing  to  lead  them  to  suppose  that 
the  Canadians  desire  to  change  their  political  condition  :  on 
the  contrary,  the  mention  of  Her  Majesty's  name  evoked  on 
all  occasions  the  most  unbounded  enthusiasm ;  and  there  was 
every  appearance  of  a  kindly  feeling  towards  the  Governor- 
General,  which  the  Americans  seemed  not  disinclined  them- 
selves to  share. 

'  To  render  annexation  by  violence  impossible^,  and  by  any 
*  other  means  as  improbable  as  may  be,'  is,  as  I  have  often 
ventured  to  repeat,  the  polar  star  of  my  policy.  In  these 
matters,  small  as  they  may  appear,  I  believe  we  have  been 
steering  by  its  light.  Again,  as  respects  ourselves.  I  trust  " 
that  the  effects  of  this  Buffalonian  visit  will  be  very  beneficial. 
I  took  occasion  in  my  speeches,  in  a  joking  way  which  pro- 
voked nothing  but  laughter  and  good  humour,  to  hint  at  some 
of  the  unreasonable  traits  in  the  conduct  of  my  Canadian 
friends.  I  am  sure  that  the  Americans  go  home  with  very 
correct  views  as  touching  our  politics,  and  with  the  best  senti- 
ments towards  myself.  It  is  of  very  great  importance  to  me 
to  have  the  aid  of  a  sound  public  opinion  from  without,  to  help 
me  through  my  difficulties  here ;  and,  as  I  utterly  despair  of 
receiving  any  such  assistance  from  England  (I  allude  not  to 
the  Government  but  to  the  public,  which  never  looks  at  us 
except  when  roused  by  fear  ignorantly  to  condemn),  it  is  of 
incalculable  importance  that  I  should  obtain  this  support  from 

In  the  autumn  of  1851,  the  inhabitants  of  Boston  Boston 
held  a  Three  Days'  Jubilee,  to  celebrate  the  completion  Jul 
of  various   lines   of  communication,    by   railroad   and 
steamship,  destined  to  draw  closer  the  bonds  of  union 
between  Canada  and  the  United  States  ;  and  Lord  Elgin 
gladly  accepted  an  invitation  to  be  present.     Writing 
on    September   26,    1851,    he   mentions   having    'met 
4  there  all  the  United  States,  President  included  ;'  and 


CANADA.  Cn.  VI. 

describes  a  *  dinner  on  the  Boston  Common  for  3,500 
'  persons,  at  which  many  good  speeches  were  made, 
4  Everett's  especially  so.'  He  adds : — 

Nothing  certainly  could  be  more  cordial  than  the  conduct 
of  the  Bostonians  throughout ;  and  there  was  a  scrupulous 
avoidance  of  every  topic  that  could  wound  British  or  Canadian 

To  the  general  harmony  and  good  feeling  no  one 
contributed  more  than  Lord  Elgin  himself,  by  his 
general  courtesy  and  affability,  and  especially  by  his 
speeches,  full  of  the  happiest  mixture  of  playfulness  and 
earnestness,  of  eloquence  and  sound  sense,  of  ardent 
patriotism  with  broad  international  sympathies.  c  It 
4  was  worth  something,'  he  wrote  afterwards,  '  to  get  the 
'  Queen  of  England  as  much  cheered  and  lauded  in  New 
'England  as  in  any  part  of  Old  England;'  and  the 
reflection  faithfully  represents  the  spirit  of  expansive 
loyalty  which  characterised  all  his  dealings  with  his 
neighbours  of  the  States. 

These  qualities,  added  to  the  reputation  of  a  wise  and 
liberal  Governor,  won  for  him  an  unusual  amount  of 
regard  from  the  American  people.  At  a  dinner  given 
to  him  in  London,  during  his  short  visit  to  England  in 
the  spring  of  1854 — a  dinner  at  which  the  Colonial 
Secretaries  of  five  different  Governments,  Lord  Mont- 
eagle,  Lord  John  Russell,  Lord  Grey,  Sir  J.  Pakington, 
and  the  Duke  of  Newcastle  met  to  do  him  honour — no 
one  spoke  more  warmly  or  more  discriminatingly  in  his 
praise  than  the  American  Minister,  Mr.  Buchanan. 

Speech  of        <  Lord  Elgin,'  he  said,  '  has  solved  one  of  the  most  difficult 

ehanan."      problems  of  statesmanship.      He  has  been  able,  successfully 

and  satisfactorily,  to  administer,  amidst  many  difficulties,  a 

i        colonial  government  over  a  free  people.     This  is  an  easy  task 

where  the  commands  of  a  despot   are   law  to   his   obedient 

subjects ;  but  not  so  in  a  colony  where  the  people  feel  that 

they  possess  the  rights  and  privileges  of  native-born  Britons. 

Under    his    enlightened    government    Her    Majesty's    North 

1850—1854.    RELATIONS   WITH   THE   UNITED   STATES.       163 

American  provinces  have  realised  the  blessings  of  a  wise, 
prudent,  and  prosperous  administration ;  and  we  of  the  neigh- 
bouring nation,  though  jealous  of  our  rights,  have  reason  to  be 
abundantly  satisfied  with  his  just  and  friendly  conduct  towards 
ourselves.  He  has  known  how  to  reconcile  his  devotion  to  Her 
Majesty's  service  with  a  proper  regard  to  the  rights  and 
interests  of  the  kindred  and  neighbouring  people.  Would  to 
Heaven  we  had  such  governors-general  in  all  the  European 
colonies  in  the  vicinity  of  the  United  States  ! ' 

A  signal  proof  of  his  popularity  and  influence  in 
America  was  given  a  few  months  later,  on  the  occasion  Treaty, 
already  referred  to,  when  lie  visited  Washington  for  the 
purpose  of  negotiating  the  Eecigrodty  Treaty ;  and, 
chiefly  by  the  effect  of  his  personal  presence,  carried 
through,  in  a  few  weeks,  a  measure  which  had  been  in 
suspense  for  years. 

In  returning  from  this  visit  he  was  received  with 
special  honours  at  Portland,  the  terminus  of  the 
international  railway  which  he  had  exerted  himself  so 
much  to  promote  ;  and  he  used  the  opportunity  not 
only  to  please  and  conciliate  his  entertainers,  but  also  to 
impress  them  with  the  respect  due  to  the  Canadians,  as 
a  flourishing  and  progressive,  above  all  as  a  loyal, 
people.  Speaking  of  the  alienation  which  had  existed, 
a  few  years  earlier,  between  the  Provinces  and  the 
States,  he  said : l 

When  I  look  back  to  the  past,  I  find  what  tended  in  some  Speech  at 
degree  to  create  this  misunderstanding.     In  the  first  place,  as  Portlan  • 
I  believe,  the  government  of  these  provinces  was  conducted 
on  erroneous  principles,  the  rights  of  the  people  were  some- 
what  restrained,   and   large   numbers   were    prevented   from 
exercising  those  privileges  which   belong   to   a   free   people. 
From  this  arose,  very  naturally,  a  discontent  on  the  part  of 
the  people  of  the  Provinces,  with  which  the  people  of  the 
States  sympathised.    Though  this  sympathy  and  this  discontent 
was  not  always  wise,  it  is  not  wonderful  that  it  existed. 

The  report  of  his  words  is  ob-      stance  is  probably  given  with  suffi- 
viously   imperfect,    but    their    sub-      cient  accuracy. 



CANADA.  Cn.  VI. 

What  have  we  now  done  to  put  an  end  to  this  ?  We  have 
cut  off  the  source  of  all  this  misunderstanding  by  granting  to 
the  people  what  they  desired— the  great  principle  of  self- 
government.  The  inhabitants  of  Canada  at  this  moment 
exercise  an  influence  over  their  own  destinies  and  government 
as  complete  as  do  the  people  of  this  country.  This  is  the  only 
cause  of  misunderstanding  that  ever  existed ;  and  this  cannot 
arise  when  the  circumstances  which  made  them  at  variance 
have  ceased  to  exist. 

The  good  feeling  which  has  been  so  fully  established  between 
the  States  and  the  Provinces  has  already  justified  itself  by  its 
works.  In  the  British  Provinces  we  have  already  had  many 
evidences  to  prove  your  kindness  towards  us  ;  and  within  the 
last  seven  years,  more  than  in  any  previous  seven  years  since 
the  settlement  of  the  two  countries. 

Let  me  ask  you,  who  is  the  worse  off  for  this  display  of 
good  feeling  and  fraternal  intercourse  ?  Is  it  the  Canadas  ? 
sir,  as  the  representative  of  Her  Majesty,  permit  me  to  say 
that  the  Canadians  were  never  more  loyal  than  at  this  moment. 
Standing  here,  on  United  States  ground,  beneath  that  flag 
under  which  we  are  proud  to  live,  I  repeat  that  no  people  was 
ever  more  loyal  than  are  the  Canadas  to  their  Queen  ;  and  it 
is  the  purpose  of  the  present  Ministers  of  Her  Majesty's 
Government  to  make  the  people  of  Canada  so  prosperous  and 
happy,  that  other  nations  shall  envy  them  their  good  fortune. 

This  was  the  last  occasion  of  his  addressing  American 
citizens  on  their  own  soil  ;  nor  did  the  course  of  his 
after-life  bring  him  often  in  contact  with  them.  But 
the  personal  regard  which  he  had  won  from  them 
descended,  some  years  later,  as  a  valuable  heritage  to 
his  brother,  Sir  Frederick,  when  appointed  to  the  diffi- 
cult post  of  Minister  at  Washington  after  the  close  of 
the  Americar  Civil  War.1 

1  The  great  abilities  of  Sir  F.  announced  his  death,  after  comment- 
Bruce,  and  the  nobility  of  his  cha-  ing  on  the  calamitous  fate  by  which, 
racter,  fitted  him  in  a  singular  man-  *  within  a  period  of  four  years,  the 
ner  for  this  post.  He  died  suddenly  '  nation  had  lost  the  services  of  three 
at  Boston,  on  September  19,  1867,  '  members  of  one  family,  each  en- 
too  early  for  extended  fame,  but  'dowed  with  eminent  qualifications 
not  unrecognised  as  a  public  servant  '  for  the  important  work  to  which 
of  rare  value.  The  Times,  which  <  they  severally  devoted  their  lives,' 




The  parting  of  Lord  Elgin  from  Canada  was  spread,  Parting 
to  speak,  over  several  years  ;  for  though  he  did  not  Canada. 
finally  quit  its  shores  till  the  end  of  1854,  from  1851 
onwards  he  was  continually  in  expectation  of  being 
recalled  ;  and,  towards  the  end  of  1853,  he  came  to 
England,  as  we  have  already  seen,  on  leave  of  absence. 
The  numerous  speeches  made,  and  letters  written  on 
:he  occasion  of  these  different  leave-takings,  contain 
iple  proof  how  cordial  was  the  feeling  which  had 
-own  up  between  the  Colony  and  its  Governor.  It 
be  enough  to  give  here  two  specimens.  The 
first  is  an  extract  from  a  farewell  speech  at  Montreal, 
listened  to  with  tears  by  a  crowded  audience  in  the 
very  place  where,  a  few  years  before,  he  had  been  so 
scandalously  outraged  and  insulted.1 

For   nearly   eight  years,   at  the  command  of  our  beloved 
Queen,  I  have  filled  this  position  among  you,  discharging  its  real. 

proceeded  thus  with  regard  to  the 
youngest  of  the  three  brothers.  '  The 
'  country  would  have  had  much 
'  reason  to  deplore  the  death  of  Sir 
1  Frederick  Bruce  whenever  it  had 
'  happened ;  but  his  loss  is  an  especial 
'misfortune  at  a  time  when  nego- 
1  tiations  of  the  utmost  intricacy  and 
1  delicacy  are  pending  with  a  Go- 
1  vernment  which  is  not  always  dis- 
'  posed  to  approach  Great  Britain  in 
'  a  spirit  of  generosity  and  forbear- 
'  ance.  Seldom  has  a  citizen  of 
'  another  country  visited  the  United 
1  States  who  possessed  so  keen  an 
'insight  into  the  political  working 
1  of  the  Great  Republic,  and  at  the 
'  same  time  ingratiated  himself  so 
'  thoroughly  with  every  American 
'  who  approached  him.  .  .  .  Although 
1  naturally  somewhat  impulsive  in 
'  temperament,  he  invariable  exhi- 
'bited  entire  calmness  and  self- 
1  command  when  the  circumstances 
'  of  his  position  led  him  into  trial.  .  . 
1  This  imperturbable  temperament 
'in  all  his  official  relations  served 
'  him  well  on  many  occasions,  from 
'  the  day  when  he  succeeded  to  the 

'  laborious  duties  relinquished  by 
'  Lord  Lyons ;  but  never  was  it  of 
'  greater  advantage  than  in  the  pro- 
'  tracted  and  difficult  controversy 
'concerning  the  Alabama  claims. 
'  This  discussion  it  fell  to  the  lot  of 
'  Sir  F.  Bruce  to  conduct  on  the  part 
'  of  Her  Majesty  j  and  we  divulge  no 
'  secret  when  we  state  that  it  was  in 
'  accordance  with  the  late  Minister's 
'  repeated  advice  and  exhortations 
'  that  a  wise  overture  towards  a  set- 
'  tlement  was  made  by  the  present 
'  Government.  He  had  succeeded  in 
'  establishing  for  himself  relations  of 
'  cordial  friendship  with  Mr.  Seward 
'  and  the  President,  and  probably 
'  there  are  few  outside  the  circle  of 
'  his  own  family  who  will  be  more 
'  shocked  at  the  tidings  of  his  death 
1  than  the  astute  and  keen-eyed  old 
'  man  with  whom  he  had  sustained 
'  incessant  diplomatic  fence.' 

1  It  certainly  was  not  without 
truth,  that  one  of  the  local  papers  most 
opposed  to  him  remarked  that  '  Lord 
'  Elgin  had,  beyond  all  doubt,  a  re- 
'  markable  faculty  of  turning  enemies 
'  into  friends.' 


duties,  often  imperfectly,  never  carelessly,  or  with  indifference. 
We  are  all  of  us  aware  that  the  period  is  rapidly  approaching 
when  I  may  expect  to  be  required  by  the  same  gracious 
authority  to  resign  into  other,  and  I  trust  worthier,  hands, 
the  office  of  Governor-General,  with  the  heavy  burden  of 
responsibility  and  care  which  attaches  to  it.  It  is  fitting, 
therefore,  that  we  should  now  speak  to  each  other  frankly  and 
without  reserve.  Let  me  assure  you,  then,  that  the  severance 
of  the  formal  tie  which  binds  us  together  will  not  cause  my 
earnest  desire  for  your  welfare  and  advancement  to  abate. 
The  extinction  of  an  official  relationship  cannot  quench  the 
conviction  that  I  have  so  long  cherished,  and  by  which  I  have 
been  supported  through  many  trials,  that  a  brilliant  future  is 
in  store  for  British  North  America ;  or  diminish  the  interest 
with  which  I  shall  watch  every  event  which  tends  to  the  fulfil- 
ment of  this  expectation.  And  again  permit  me  to  assure  you, 
that  when  I  leave  you,  be  it  sooner  or  later,  I  shall  carry  away 
no  recollections  of  my  sojourn  among  you  except  such  as  are 
of  a  pleasing  character.  I  shall  remember — and  remember 
with  gratitude — the  cordial  reception  I  met  with  at  Montreal 
when  I  came  a  stranger  among  you,  bearing  with  me  for  my  sole 
recommendation  the  commission  of  our  Sovereign.  I  shall  re- 
member those  early  months  of  my  residence  here,  when  I  learnt 
in  this  beautiful  neighbourhood  to  appreciate  the  charms  of  a 
bright  Canadian  winter  day,  and  to  take  delight  in  the  cheer- 
ful music  of  your  sleigh  bells.  I  shall  remember  one  glorious 
afternoon — an  afternoon  in  April — when,  looking  down  from 
the  hill  at  Monklands,  on  my  return  from  transacting  business 
in  your  city,  I  beheld  that  the  vast  plain  stretching  out  before 
me,  which  I  had  alwa}  s  seen  clothed  in  the  white  garb  of 
winter,  had  assumed,  on  a  sudden,  and,  as  if  by  enchantment, 
the  livery  of  spring ;  while  your  noble  St.  Lawrence,  bursting 
through  his  icy  fetters,  had  begun  to  sparkle  in  the  sunshine, 
and  to  murmur  his  vernal  hymn  of  thanksgiving  to  the 
bounteous  Giver  of  light  and  heat.  I  shall  remember  rny 
visits  to  your  Mechanics'  Institutes  and  Mercantile  Library 
Associations,  and  the  kind  attention  with  which  the  advice 
which  I  tendered  to  your  young  men  and  citizens  was  received 
by  them.  I  shall  remember  the  undaunted  courage  with 
which  the  merchants  of  this  city,  while  suffering  under  the 
pressure  of  a  commercial  crisis  of  almost  unparalleled  severity, 

1854.  FAKEWELL   TO   QUEBEC.  167 

urged  forward  that  great  work  which  was  the  first  step  towards 
placing  Canada  in  her  proper  position  in  this  age  of  railway 
progress.  I  shall  remember  the  energy  and  patriotism  which 
gathered  together  in  this  city  specimens  of  Canadian  industry, 
from  all  parts  of  the  province,  for  the  World's  Fair,  and  which 
has  been  the  means  of  rendering  this  magnificent  conception  of 
the  illustrious  Consort  of  our  beloved  Queen  more  serviceable 
to  Canada  than  it  has,  perhaps,  proved  to  any  other  of  the 
countless  communities  which  have  been  represented  there. 
And  I  shall  forget — but  no — what  I  might  have  had  to  forget 
is  forgotten  already ;  and  therefore  I  cannot  tell  you  what  I 
shall  forget. 

The  remaining  extract  is  from  parting  words,  spoken 
after  a  ball  which  he  gave  at  Quebec  on  the  eve  of  his 
final  departure  in  December,  1854. 

I  wish  I  could  address  you  in  such  strains  as  I  have  some-  Farewell 
times  employed  on  similar  occasions,  strains  suited  to  a  festive 
meeting ;  but  I  confess  I  have  a  weight  on  my  heart,  and  that 
it  is  not  in  me  to  be  merry.  For  the  last  time  I  stand  before 
you  in  the  official  character  which  I  have  borne  for  nearly 
eight  years.  For  the  last  time  I  am  surrounded  by  a  circle  of 
friends  with  whom  I  have  spent  some  of  the  most  pleasant 
days  of  my  life.  For  the  last  time  I  welcome  you  as  my 
guests  to  this  charming  residence  which  I  have  been  in  the 
habit  of  calling  my  home.1  I  did  not,  I  will  frankly  confess  it, 
know  what  it  would  cost  me  to  break  this  habit,  until  the 
period  of  my  departure  approached ;  and  I  began  to  feel  that 
the  great  interests  which  have  so  long  engrossed  my  attention 
and  thoughts,  were  passing  out  of  my  hands.  I  had  a  hint  of 
what  my  feelings  really  were  upon  this  point — a  pretty  broad 
hint  too — one  lovely  morning  in  June  last,  when  I  returned  to 
Quebec  after  my  temporary  absence  in  England,  and  landed 
in  the  Coves  below  Speiicerwood  (because  it  was  Sunday, 
and  I  did  not  want  to  make  a  disturbance  in  the  town),  and 
when  with  the  greetings  of  the  old  people  in  the  Coves  who 
put  their  heads  out  of  the  windows  as  I  passed  along,  and 
cried  '  Welcome  home  again,'  still  ringing  in  my  ears,  I  mounted 
the  hill  and  drove  through  the  avenue  to  the  house  door.  I  saw 

1  Spcncerwood,  the  Governor's  private  residence. 

168  CANADA.  OH.  VI. 

the  dropping  trees  on  the  lawn,  with  every  one  of  which  I  was 
so  familiar,  clothed  in  the  tenderest  green  of  spring,  and  the 
river  beyond,  calm  and  transparent  as  a  mirror,  and  the  ships 
fixed  and  motionless  as  statues  on  its  surface,  and  the  whole 
landscape  bathed  in  a  flood  of  that  bright  Canadian  sun  which 
so  seldom  pierces  our  murky  atmosphere  on  the  other  side  of 
the  Atlantic.  I  began  to  think  that  persons  were  to  be  envied 
who  were  not  forced  by  the  necessities  of  their  position  to  quit 
these  engrossing  interests  and  lovely  scenes,  for  the  purpose  of 
proceeding  to  distant  lands,  but  who  are  able  to  remain  among 
them  until  they  pass  to  that  quiet  corner  of  the  Garden  of 
Mount  Hermon,  which  juts  into  the  river  and  commands  a 
view  of  the  city,  the  shipping,  Point  Levi,  the  Island  of 
Orleans,  and  the  range  of  Lawrentine  ;  so  that  through  the  dim 
watches  of  that  tranquil  night,  which  precedes  the  dawning  of 
the  eternal  day,  the  majestic  citadel  of  Quebec,  with  its  noble 
train  of  satellite  hills,  may  seem  to  rest  for  ever  on  the  sight, 
and  the  low  murmur  of  the  waters  of  St.  Lawrence,  with 
the  hum  of  busy  life  on  their  surface,  to  fall  ceaselessly 
on  the  ear.  I  cannot  bring  myself  to  believe  that  the  future 
j  has  in  store  for  me  any  interests  which  will  fill  the  place  of 
those  I  am  now  abandoning.  But  although  I  must  hence- 
forward be  to  you  as  a  stranger,  although  my  official  connec- 
tion with  you  and  your  interests  will  have  become  in  a  few 
days  matter  of  history,  yet  I  trust  that  through  some  one 
channel  or  another,  the  tidings  of  your  prosperity  and  progress 
may  occasionally  reach  me ;  that  I  may  hear  from  time  to  time 
j  of  the  steady  growth  and  development  of  those  principles  of 
I  liberty  and  order,  of  manly  independence  in  combination  with 
I  respect  for  authority  and  law,  of  national  life  in  harmony  with 
British  connection,  which  it  has  been  my  earnest  endeavour, 
to  the  extent  of  my  humble  means  of  influence,  to  implant 
ancj  to  establish.  I  trust,  too,  that  I  shall  hear  that  this  house 
continues  to  be  what  I  have  ever  sought  to  render  it,  a  neutral 
territory,  on  which  persons  of  opposite  opinions,  political  and 
religious,  may  meet  together  in  harmony  and  forget  their  dif- 
ferences for  a  season.  And  I  have  good  hope  that  this  will  be 
the  case  for  several  reasons,  and,  among  others,  for  one  which 
I  can  barely  allude  to,  for  it  might  be  an  impertinence  in  me 
to  dwell  upon  it.  But  I  think  that  without  any  breach  of 
delicacy  or  decorum  I  may  venture  to  say  that  many  years 

1855.  AT   HOME.  169 

ago,  when  I  was  muoh  younger  than  I  am  now,  and  when  we 
stood  towards  each  other  in  a  relation  somewhat  different  from 
that  which  has  recently  subsisted  between  us,  I  learned  to 
look  up  to  Sir  Edmund  Head  writh  respect,  as  a  gentleman  of 
the  highest  character,  the  greatest  ability,  and  the  most  varied 
accomplishments  and  attainments.1  And  now,  Ladies  and  Gen- 
tlemen, I  have  only  to  add  the  sad  word  Farewell.  I  drink 
this  bumper  to  the  health  of  you  all,  collectively  and  indivi- 
dually. I  trust  that  I  may  hope  to  leave  behind  me  some  who 
will  look  back  with  feelings  of  kindly  recollection  to  the  period 
of  our  intercourse  ;  some  with  whom  I  have  been  on  terms  of 
immediate  official  connection,  whose  worth  and  talents  I  have 
had  the  best  means  of  appreciating,  and  who  could  bear 
witness,  at  least,  if  they  please  to  do  so,  to  the  spirit,  inten- 
tions, and  motives  with  which  I  have  administered  your 
affairs ;  some  with  whom  I  have  been  bound  by  the  ties  of 
personal  regard.  And  if  reciprocity  be  essential  to  enmity, 
then  most  assuredly  I  can  leave  behind  me  no  enemies.  I  am 
aware  that  there  must  be  persons  in  so  large  a  society  as  this, 
who  think  that  they  have  grievances  to  complain  of,  that  due 
consideration  has  not  in  all  cases  been  shown  to  them.  Let 
them  believe  me,  and  they  ought  to  believe  me,  for  the  testi- 
mony of  a  dying  man  is  evidence,  even  in  a  court  of  justice, 
let  them  believe  me,  then,  when  I  assure  them,  in  this  the  last 
hour  of  my  agony,  that  no  such  errors  of  omission  or  commis- 
sion have  been  intentional  on  my  part.  Farewell,  and  God 
bless  you. 

The  two  years  which  followed  Lord  Elgin's  return  At  homo, 
from  Canada  were  a  time  of  complete  rest  from  official 
labour.  For  though,  on  the  breaking  up  of  Lord 
Aberdeen's  Ministry  in  the  spring  of  IS 55,  he  was 
offered  by  Lord  Palmerston  the  Chancellorship  of  the 
Duchy  of  Lancaster,  with  a  seat  in  the  Cabinet,  he 
declined  the  offer,  not  on  any  ground  of  difference  from 

1  Sir  Edmund  Head,  who  sue-  ship  in  1833.  Those  who  knew  him 
ceeded  Lord  Elgin  as  Governor-  will  recognise  how  singularly  appro- 
General  of  Canada  in  1854,  had  priate,  in  their  full  force,  are  the 
examined  him  for  a  Merton  Fellow-  terms  in  which  he  is  here  spoken  of. 

170  AT  HOME.  On.  VI. 

the  new  Ministry,  which  he  intended  to  support ;  but 
because,  having  only  recently  taken  his  seat  in  the 
House  of  Lords,  after  a  long  term  of  foreign  service, 
during  which  he  had  necessarily  held  aloof  from  home 
politics,  he  thought  it  advisable,  for  the  present  at  least, 
to  remain  independent.  He  found,  however,  ample  and 
congenial  occupation  for  his  time  in  the  peaceful  but 
industrious  discharge  of  home  duties  at  Broomhall. 
Still  his  thoughts  were  constantly  with  the  distant 
Provinces  in  which  he  had  laboured  so  long. 

Whenever  he  appeared  in  public,  whether  at  a  din- 
ner given  in  his  honour  at  Dunfermline,  or  on  occasion 
of  receiving  the  freedom  of  the  city  of  Glasgow,  or 
in  delivering  a  lecture  at  the  annual  opening  of  the 
Edinburgh  Philosophical  Institute — it  was  with  the 
same  desire  of  turning  to  account  the  knowledge  gained 
abroad,  for  the  advantage  of  the  Colonies,  or  of  the 
mother-country,  or  for  the  mutual  benefit  of  both  ; 
•with  the  same  hope  of  drawing  closer  the  bonds  of 
union  between  them,  and  dispelling  something  of  that 
cloud  of  ignorance  and  indifference  which  has  often 
made  the  public  opinion  of  Great  Britain  a  hindrance 
rather  than  a  support  to  the  best  interests  of  her  depen- 

in  the  It  was  only  very  rarely  that  he  took  any  part  in  the 

LordT.  °f  business  of  legislation  ;  and  of  the  two  occasions  on 
which  he  was  induced  to  break  silence,  one  was  when 
the  interests  of  Canada  appeared  to  him  to  be  imper- 
illed by  the  rumoured  intention  of  Government  to  send 
thither  large  bodies  of  troops  that  had  just  returned 
from  the  Crimea.  He  thought  it  his  duty  to  protest 
earnestly  against  any  such  proceeding,  as  likely,  in  the 
first  place,  to  complicate  the  relations  of  Canada  with 
the  United  States,  arid,  in  the  second  place,  to  arrest 
her  progress  in  self-dependence. 

Crimean  The  other  occasion  of  his  speaking  was  in  May  1855, 
when  Lord  Ellenborough  had  moved  an  Address  to  the 

1855.  THE   CRIMEAN   WAR.  171 

Crown,  condemnatory  of  the  manner  in  which  the 
Crimean  War  had  been  and  was  being  conducted. 
Having  been  out  of  England  when  hostilities  were 
begun,  he  had  not  to  consider  the  question  whether  it 
was  a  glorious,  or  even  a  necessary,  war  in  which  we 
were  engaged;  and  his  one  feeling  on  the  subject  was 
that  which  he  had  previously  expressed  to  the  citizens 
of  Glasgow. 

My  opinion  (he  then  said)  [on  the  question  of  the  war]  I 
can  easily  state,  and  I  have  no  hesitation  in  avowing  it.  I 
say  that  now  we  are  in  the  war,  we  must  fight  it  out  like  men. 
I  don't  say,  throw  away  the  scabbard;  in  the  first  place, 
because  I  dislike  all  violent  metaphors ;  and,  in  the  second  place, 
because  the  scabbard  is  a  very  useful  instrument,  and  the 
sooner  we  can  use  it  the  better.  But  I  do  say,  having  drawn 
the  sword,  don't  sheathe  it  until  the  purpose  for  which  it  was 
drawn  is  accomplished. 

In  the  same  spirit  he  now  defended  the  Ministry 
against  Lord  Ellenborough's  attack ;  not  on  party 
grounds,  which  he  took  pains  to  repudiate,  but  on 
what  he  conceived  to  be  the  true  patriotic  principle — 
viz.  to  strengthen,  at  such  a  time,  the  hands  of  the 
existing  Government,  unless  there  be  a  distinct  prospect 
of  replacing  it  by  a  stronger. 

After  mentioning  that  he  had  not  long  before  in- 
formed Lord  Palmerston,  that  '  while  he  was  resolved 
4  to  maintain  an  independent  position  in  Parliament,  it 
4  was  nevertheless  his  desire  and  intention,  subject  to 
4  that  qualification  and  reserve,  to  support  the  Goverri- 
4  ment,'  he  proceeded  : 

I  formed  this  resolution  not  only  because  I  had  reason  to 
believe  that  on  questions  of  public  policy  my  sentiments  would 
generally  be  found  to  be  in  accordance  with  those  of  the  pre- 
sent Government,  nor  yet  only  because  I  felt  I  owed  to  the 
noble  Viscount  himself,  and  many  at  least  of  his  colleagues,  a 
debt  of  obligation  for  the  generous  support  they  uniformly 
gave  me  at  critical  periods  in  the  course  of  my  foreign  career ; 

172  AT  HOME.  CH.  VI. 

but  also,  and  principally,  because  in  the  critical  position  in 
which  this  country  was  placed — at  a  time  when  we  had  only 
recently  presented  to  the  astonished  eye  of  Europe  the  dis- 
creditable spectacle  of  a  great  country  left  for  weeks  without  a 
Government,  and  a  popular  and  estimable  Monarch  left  with- 
out councillors,  during  a  period  of  great  national  anxiety  and 
peril;  when  there  was  hardly  a  household  in  England  where 
the  voice  of  wailing  was  not  to  be  heard,  or  an  eye  which  was 
not  heavy  with  a  tear — it  appeared  to  me,  I  say,  under  such 
circumstances,  to  be  the  bounden  duty  of  every  patriotic  man, 
who  had  not  some  very  valid  and  substantial  reason  to  assign 
for  adopting  a  contrary  course,  to  tender  a  frank  and  generous 
support  to  the  Government  of  the  Queen. 

Having  come  to  that  determination,  he  had  now  to 
ask  himself  whether  circumstances  were  so  altered  as 
to  make  it  his  duty  to  revoke  the  pledge  sponta- 
neously given  ?  To  this  conclusion  he  could  not  bring 

It  seems  to  me  (he  said)  these  Resolutions  divide  themselves 
naturally  into  two  parts.  The  first  part  has  reference  to  what 
I  may  call  the  general  policy  of  the  Government  with  respect 
to  the  war;  and  that  portion  of  them  is  conceived  in  strains  of 
eulogy  and  commendation — I  may  almost  say  in  strains  of 
exultation.  The  Resolutions  speak  of  firm  alliances,  of  bro- 
therhood in  arms,  of  a  sympathetic  and  enthusiastic  people  ; 
but  not  a  word  of  regret  for  national  friendships  of  old  stand- 
ing broken — desolation  carried  into  thousands  of  happy  homes 
— Europe  in  arms — Asia  agitated  and  febrile — America  sul- 
lenly expectant. 

This  exuberance  of  exultation,  he  said,  was  amply 
met  by  the  exuberance  of  denunciation  which  charac- 
terises the  latter  part  of  the  Address  ;  but  it  was  to  his 
mind  even  less  just  than  the  former. 

But  even  (he  continued)  if  I  could  bring  myself  to  believe, 
which  I  have  failed  in  doing,  that  censure  might  be  passed  in 
the  terms  of  these  Resolutions  upon  Her  Majesty's  present 
Government  without  injustice,  I  should  still  be  unwilling  to 

1855.  SPEECH  IN   THE   HOUSE   OF   LORDS.  173 

concur  in  them,  unless  I  could  find  some  better  security  than 
either  the  Resolutions  themselves  afford,  or,  as  I  regret  to  be 
obliged  to  add,  the  antecedents  and  recorded  sentiments  of 
Noble  Lords  opposite  afford,  that  by  bringing  about  the 
change  of  administration  which  these  Resolutions  are  intended 
to  promote,  I  should  be  doing  a  benefit  to  the  public  service. 
My  Lords,  I  cannot  but  think  that  at  a  time  when  it  is  most 
important  that  the  Government  of  this  country  should  have 
weight  and  influence  abroad,  frequent  changes  of  administra- 
tion are  primd  facie  most  objectionable.  I  happened  to  be 
upon  the  Continent  when  the  last  change  of  Government  in 
this  country  took  place ;  and  I  must  say  it  appeared  to  me,  that 
a  most  painful  impression  was  created  in  foreign  states  with 
respect  to  the  instability  of  the  administrative  system  of  this 
country  by  these  frequent  changes  of  administration.  I  do 
think,  indeed,  that  not  the  least  of  the  many  calamities  which 
this  war  has  brought  upon  us  is  the  fact,  that  it  has  had  a 
tendency  in  many  quarters  to  throw  discredit  on  that  con- 
stitutional system  of  Government  of  which  this  country  has 
hitherto  been  the  type  and  the  bright  example  among  the 

After  all,  what  is  chiefly  valuable  to  nations  as  well  as  to 
individuals,  and  the  loss  of  which  alone  is  irreparable,  is  cha- 
racter ;  and  it  appears  to  me  that,  viewed  in  this  light,  many 
of  the  other  calamities  which  we  have  had  to  deplore  during 
the  course  of  this  war  have  been  already  accompanied  by  a 
very  large  and  ample  measure  of  compensation.  To  take,  for 
\istance,  the  military  departments :  notwithstanding  the  com- 
plaints we  have  heard  of  deficiencies  in  our  military  organisa- 
tion, I  believe  we  can  with  confidence  affirm,  that  the  character 
of  the  British  soldier,  both  for  moral  qualities  and  for  powers 
of  physical  endurance,  has  been  raised  by  the  instrumentality 
of  this  war  to  an  elevation  which  it  had  never  before  attained. 
In  spite  of  the  somewhat  unfavourable  tone  which,  I  regret  to 
say,  has  been  adopted  of  late  by  a  portion  of  the  press  of 
America,  I  have  myself  seen  in  influential  journals  in  that 
country  commentaries  upon  the  conduct  of  our  soldiers  at 
Alma,  at  Balaklava,  and  at  Inkerman,  which  no  true-hearted 
Englishman  could  read  without  emotion :  and  I  have  heard  a 
tribute  not  less  generous  and  not  less  unqualified  borne  to  the 

174  AT   HOME.  CH.  VI. 

qualities  of  our  troops  by  eminent  persons  belonging  to  that 
great  military  nation  with  which  we  are  now  so  happily  allied. 
To  look  to  another  quarter — to  contemplate  another  class  of 
virtues  not  less  essential  than  those  to  which  I  have  referred 
to  the  happiness  and  glory  of  nations — I  have  heard  from  en- 
thusiastic, even  bigoted,  votaries  of  that  branch  of  the  Christian 
Church  which  sometimes  prides  itself  as  having  alone  retained 
in  its  system  room  for  the  exercise  of  the  heroic  virtues  of 
Christianity, — I  say  I  have  frequently  heard  from  them  the 
frank  admission,  that  the  hospitals  of  Scutari  have  proved  that 
the  fairest  and  choicest  flowers  of  Christian  charity  and  devotion 
may  come  to  perfection  even  in  what  they  are  pleased  to  call 
the  arid  soil  of  Protestantism.  But,  my  Lords,  can  we  flatter 
ourselves  with  the  belief  that  the  character  of  our  statesmen, 
of  our  public  men,  and  of  our  Parliamentary  institutions  has 
risen  in  a  like  proportion  ?  Is  it  not,  on  the  contrary,  notorious 
that  doubts  have  been  created  in  quarters  where  such  doubts 
never  existed  before  as  to  the  practical  efficiency  of  our  much- 
vaunted  constitution,  as  to  its  fitness  to  carry  us  unscathed 
through  periods  of  great  difficulty  and  danger  ?  I  believe,  my 
Lords,  that  there  is  one  process  only,  but  that  a  sure  and  cer- 
tain process,  by  which  these  doubts  may  be  removed.  It  is 
only  necessary  that  public  men,  whether  connected  with  the 
Government  or  with  the  Opposition,  whether  tied  in  the  bonds 
of  party  or  holding  independent  positions  in  Parliament,  should 
evince  the  same  indifference  to  small  and  personal  motives,  the 
same  generous  patriotism,  the  same  disinterested  devotion  to 
duty,  which  have  characterised  the  services  of  our  soldiers  in 
the  field,  and  of  the  women  of  England  at  the  sick-bed. 
And,  my  Lords,  I  cannot  help  asking  in  conclusion,  if— which 
God  forbid — it  should  unhappily  be  proved  that,  in  those  whom 
fortune,  or  birth,  or  royal  or  popular  favour  has  placed  in  the 
van,  these  qualities  are  wanting,  who  shall  dare  to  blame  the 
press  and  the  people  of  England,  if  they  seek  for  them  else- 
where ? 

From  the  tone  of  this  speech  it  will  be  seen  that 
Lord  Elgin  had  not  at  this  time  joined  either  of  the 
two  parties  in  the  State.  He  was,  in  truth,  still  feeling 
his  way  through  the  mazes  of  home  politics  to  which 




he  had  been  so  long  a  stranger,  and  from  which,  as 
he  himself  somewhat  regretfully  observed,  those  an- 
cient landmarks  of  party  had  been  removed,  c  which,  if 
4  not  a  wholly  sufficient  guide,  are  yet  some  sort  of 
'  direction  to  wanderers  in  the  political  wilderness.' 
While  he  was  still  thus  engaged,  events  were  happening 
at  the  other  ends  of  the  earth  which  were  destined  to 
divert  into  quite  another  channel  the  current  of  his  life. 

176  FIRST   MISSION   TO   CHINA.  On.  VII. 







*  THE  earlier  incidents  of  the  political  rupture  with 
'the  Chinese  Commissioner  Yeh,  which  occurred  at 
4  Canton  during  the  autumn  of  1856,  and  which  led  to 
4  the  appointment  of  a  Special  Mission  to  China,  were 
4  too  thoroughly  canvassed  at  the  time  to  render  it 
4  necessary  to  renew  here  any  discussion  on  their  merits, 
4  or  recall  at  length  their  details.  As  the  "  Arrow  "  case 
4  derived  its  interest  then  from  the  debates  to  which  it 
4  gave  rise,  and  its  effects  on  parties  at  home,  rather  than 
4  from  any  intrinsic  value  of  its  own,  so  does  it  now 
4  mainly  owe  its  importance  to  the  accidental  circum- 
4  stance,  that  it  was  the  remote  and  insignificant  cause 
4  which  led  to  a  total  revolution  in  the  foreign  policy 
4  of  the  Celestial  Empire,  and  to  the  demolition  of  most 
4  of  those  barriers  which,  while  they  were  designed  to 
4  restrict  all  intercourse  from  without,  furnished  the 
4  nations  of  the  West  with  fruitful  sources  of  quarrel  arid 
4  perpetual  grievances.* 

These  words  form  the  preface  to  the  4  Narrative 
4  of  the  Earl  of  Elgin's  Mission  to  China  and  Japan,'  by 
Laurence  Oliphant,  then  private  secretary  to  Lord 
Elgin.  To  that  work  we  must  refer  our  readers  for  a 


856.  ORIGIN  OF  THE   MISSION.  177 

full  and  complete,  as  well  as  authentic,  account  of  the 
occurrences  which  gave  occasion  to  the  following  letters, 
brief  sketch  only  will  here  be  given. 

On    October    8,    1856,    a   lorcha    named    4  Arrow,1  Origin 
gistered  as  a  British  vessel,  and  carrying  a  British  Mission. 
ag,  was  boarded  by  the  authorities  of  Canton,  the  flag 
orn  down,  and  the   crew  carried  away  as  prisoners, 
uch  was  the  English  account.      The  Chinese  denied 
hat  any  flag  was  flying  at  the  time  of  the  capture :   the 
ritish  ownership  of  the  vessel,  they  maintained,  was 
ever  more  than  colourable,  and  had  expired  a  month 
efore  :  the  crew  were  all  their  own  subjects,  appre- 
hended on  a  charge  of  piracy. 

The  English  authorities  refused  to  listen  to  this. 
They  insisted  on  a  written  apology  for  the  insult  to 
their  flag,  and  the  formal  restitution  of  the  captured 
sailors.  .  And  when  these  demands  were  refused,  or 
incompletely  fulfilled,  they  summoned  the  fleet,  in  the 
hope  that  a  moderate  amount  of  pressure  would  lead  to 
the  required  concessions.  Shortly  after,  finding  arms 
in  their  hands,  they  thought  it  a  good  opportunity  to 
enforce  the  fulfilment  of  certain  '  long-evaded  treaty 
4  obligations,'  including  the  right  for  all  foreign  repre- 
sentatives of  free  access  to  the  authorities  and  the  city 
of  Canton.  With  this  view,  fort  after  fort,  suburb  after 
suburb,  was  taken  or  demolished.  But  the  Chinese, 
after  their  manner,  would  neither  yield  nor  fight ;  and 
contented  themselves  with  offering  large  rewards  for 
the  head  of  every  Englishman. 

When  this  state  of  matters  was  reported  to  England, 
it  was  brought  before  the  House  of  Commons  on  a 
motion  by  Mr.  Cobden,  condemnatory  of  c  the  violent 
4  measures  resorted  to  at  Canton  in  the  late  affair  of  the 
u  Arrow."  The  motion,  supported  by  Mr.  Gladstone  in 
one  of  his  splendid  bursts  of  rhetoric,  was  carried  against  - 
the  Government  by  a  majority  of  sixteen,  in  a  full  and 
excited  house,  on  the  morning  of  February  26,  1857. 



But  Lord  Palmerston  refused  to  accept  the  adverse  vote 
as  expressing  the  will  of  the  people.  He  appealed  to 
the  constituencies,  candidly  telling  the  House  that, 
pending  that  appeal,  4  there  would  be  no  change,  and 
'  could  be  no  change,  in  the  policy  of  the  Government 
'  with  respect  to  events  in  China.'  At  the  same  time 
he  intimated  that  a  special  Envoy  would  be  sent  out  to 
supersede  the  local  authorities,  armed  with  full  powers 
to  settle  the  relations  between  England  and  China  on 
a  broad  and  solid  basis. 

Appoint-  But  where  was  the  man  who,  at  a  juncture  so  critical, 
Lord  in  face  of  an  adverse  vote  of  the  House  of  Commons, 
Elgin'  on  the  chance  of  its  being  rescinded  by  the  country, 
could  be  trusted  with  so  delicate  a  mission  ;  who 
could  be  relied  on,  in  the  conduct  of  such  an  expe- 
dition against  a  foe  alike  stubborn  and  weak,  to  go  far 
enough,  and  yet  not  too  far — to  carry  his  point,  by 
diplomatic  skill  and  force  of  character,  with  the  least 
.possible  infringement  of  the  laws  of  humanity ;  a  man 
with  the  ability  and  resolution  to  insure  success,  and 
the  native  strength  that  can  afford  to  be  merciful  ? 
After  c  anxious  deliberation,'  the  choice  of  the  Govern- 
ment fell  upon  Lord  Elgin. 

How,  on  the  voyage  to  China,  he  was  met  half-way 
by  the  news  of  the  Indian  Mutiny;  how  promptly  and 
magnanimously  he  took  on  himself  the  responsibility  of 
sacrificing  the  success  of  his  own  expedition  by  divert- 
ing the  troops  from  China  to  India;  how,  after  many 
weary  months  of  enforced  inactivity,  the  expedition  was 
resumed,  and  carried  through  numberless  thwartings 
to  a  successful  issue — these  are  matters  of  history 
with  which  every  reader  must  be  acquainted.  But 
those  who  are  most  familiar  with  the  events  may  find 
an  interest  in  the  following  extracts  from  private 
letters,  written  at  the  time  by  the  chief  actor  in  the 
drama.  They  are  taken  almost  exclusively  from  a 
Journal,  in  which  his  first  thoughts  and  impressions  on 

L857.  MALTA.      EGYPT.  179 

>very  passing  occurrence  were  hurriedly  noted  down, 
*om  day  to  day,  for  transmission  to  Lady  Elgin. 

H.M.S.  (  CaradocS — May  2nd. — I  have  just  returned  to  my  Malta. 
lip  after  spending  a  few  hours  on  shore  and  visiting  Lord 
ns  in  his  magnificent  Prince  Albert.  .  .  .  How  beautiful 
[alta   is   with   its   narrow    streets,   gorgeous   churches,    and 
ipregnable  fortifications.     I  landed  at  about  six,  and  walked 
ip  to  the  Palace,  and  wrote  my  name  in  the  Governor's  book, 
rho  resides   out  of  town.     I   then  took  a  turn  through  the 
>wn,   and   went   to    the    inn   to   breakfast.  .   .  .  By  way  of  Chance 
mversation  with  the  waiter,  I  asked  who  were  in  the  house :   meeting8- 
Only  two  families,  one  of  them  Lord  Balgonie1  and  his  sisters.' 
saw  the  ladies  first,  and,  at  a  later  hour,  their  brother,  in  his 
>ed.     Poor  fellow  !  the  hand  of  death  is  only  too  visibly  upon 
him.     There  he  lay  ;  his  arm,  absolutely  fleshless,  stretched 
out:    his  large  eyes  gleaming  from  his  pale  face.     I   could 
not   dare   to   offer   to   his   broken-hearted   sisters    a  word  of 
comfort.     These  poor  girls !  how  I  felt  for  them  ;  alone  !  with 
their  brother  in  such  a  state.     They  go  to  Marseilles  by  the 
next  opportunity,  probably  by  the  packet  which  will  convey 
to  you  this  letter,  and  they  hope  that  their  mother  will  meet 
them  there.     What  a  tragedy !  .  .  .  I  had  been  incog,  at  the 
hotel  till  Sir  W.  Reid 2  found  me  there.     When  the  innkeeper 
learned  who  I  was,  he  was  in  despair  at  my  having  been  put 
into  so  small  a  room,  and  informed  me  that  he  was  the  son  of 
an  old  servant  at  Broomhall,  Hood  by  name,  and  that  he  had 
often   played   with   me   at  cricket !     How  curious  are  these 
strange  rencontres  in  life  !     They  put  me  in  mind  of  Heber's 
image,  who  says  that  we  are  like  travellers  journeying  through 
a  dense  wood  intersected  by  innumerable  paths  :  we  are  con- 
stantly meeting  in  unexpected  places,  and  plunging  into  the 
forest  again ! 

Alexandria. — May  6tk. — I  made  up  my  letter  last  night, 
not  knowing  how  short  the  time  of  my  sojourn  at  Alexandria 
might  be.  But  at  about  one  in  the  morning  I  received  a 
letter  from  Frederick,3  telling  me  that  the  steamer  due  at  Suez 
had  not  yet  arrived,  that  an  official  reception  was  to  be  given 

1  One  of  his  Fifeshire  neighbours. 

2  The  Governor  of  the  island. 

3  His  brother,  then  Consul-general  of  Egypt. 


me,  and  that  I  had  better  not  land  too  early.  .  .  .  Notwith- 
standing which,  washing  decks,  the  morning  gun,  and  a  bright 
sun,  broke  my  slumbers  at  an  early  hour,  and  I  got  up  and 
dressed  soon  after  daybreak.  At  about  6.30  A.M.  a  boat  of 
the  Pacha's,  with  a  dignitary  (who  turned  out  to  be  a  very 
gentleman-like  Frenchman),  arrived,  and  from  him  I  learnt 
Alex-  that  the  Governor  of  Alexandria,  with  a  cortege  of  dignitaries 
andria.  an(j  a  carr|age  an(j  four,  was  already  at  the  shore,  awaiting 
my  arrival ;  but  Frederick  did  not  come  till  about  half-past 
nine,  and  it  was  nearly  ten  before  I  landed.  I  was  then 
conducted  by  the  authorities  to  the  palace  in  which  I  am 
now  writing,  consisting  of  suites  of  very  handsome  rooms, 
and  commanding  a  magnificent  view  of  the  sea.  About 
a  dozen  attendants  are  loitering  about  and  watching  every 
movement,  not  curiously,  but  in  order  to  supply  any  pos- 
sible want.  At  this  very  moment  a  mild-looking  Turk  is 
peeping  into  my  bed-room  where  I  am  writing  this  letter,  and 
supposing  that  I  may  wish  to  be  undisturbed,  has  drawn  a  red 
cloth  portiere  across  the  open  doorway.  This  palace,  which  is 
set  apart  for  the  reception  of  distinguished  strangers,  is  situated 
in  the  Turkish  quarter  of  the  town,  and  all  the  houses  around 
are  inhabited  by  Mussulmans.  The  windows  are  all  covered 
with  latticed  wooden  shutters,  through  which  the  wretched 
women  may,  I  suppose,  peer  as  they  do  through  the  grating  at 
the  House  of  Commons,  but  which  are  at  least  as  impermeable 
to  the  mortal  eye  from  without.  The  streets  are  very  empty, 
as  it  is  the  Ramadan,  during  which  devout  Turks  fast  and 
sleep  throughout  the  day,  and  indemnify  themselves  by  eating, 
drinking,  and  amusing  themselves  all  night. 

Cairo. — May  7th. — Most  of  yesterday  afternoon  was  spent 
in  drinking  coffee  and  smoking  long  pipes,  two  ladies  par- 
taking of  the  latter  enjoyment  after  dinner  at  Mr.  Green's. 
One  of  them  told  me  that  she  had  dined  with  the  Princess  (the 
Pacha's  wife)  a  few  days  ago.  She  went  at  seven  and  left  at 
half-past  twelve,  and  with  the  exception  of  a  half  hour  of 
dinner,  all  the  rest  of  the  time  was  spent  in  smoking  and 
drinking  coffee.  After  dinner,  the  mother  of  the  Pacha's  only 
child  came  in  and  joined  the  party.  She  was  treated  with  a 
certain  consideration  as  being  the  mother  of  this  child,  although 
she  was  not  given  a  pipe.  The  Princess  seemed  on  very  good 
terms  with  her.  This  child  (a  boy  three  years  old)  has  an 

>7.  EGYPT.  181 

Inglish  nurse,  and  this  nurse  has  persuaded  the  Pacha  to 
How  her  to  take  the  child  to  England  on  a  visit.  The 
lother,  who  has  picked  up  a  little  English  from  the  nurse, 
lid  to  Mrs.  Green,  ( I  am  very  unhappy  ;  young  Pacha '  (her 
>y)  ( is  going  away.'  The  mother  is  no  more  thought  of  in 
ds  arrangement  than  I  am.  What  a  strange  system  it  is  ! 
We  passed  through  the  wonderful  Delta  to-day,  and 
jrtainly  the  people  looked  more  comfortable  than  those  of 
Alexandria.  The  beasts  too,  camels,  oxen,  donkeys,  showed 
igns  of  the  fertility  of  the  soil  in  their  sleekness.  What 
light  not  be  made  of  this  country  if  it  were  wisely  guided ! 
Steamer  (  BentinckS — Sunday,  May  \0th. —  I  write  to  you 
>m  the  neighbourhood  of  Mount  Sinai,  which  we  passed 
at  an  early  hour  this  morning,  gliding  through  a  sea  of  most 
transparent  glass,  with  so  little  motion  that  there  is  hardly  an 
excuse  for  bad  writing.  ...  I  must,  however,  take  you  back 
to  Cairo.  We  began  to  move  at  a  very  early  hour,  about  Crossing 
three,  on  Saturday  (yesterday)  morning.  We  were  actually  thel)eserfc- 
in  the  railway  carriages  at  half-past  four.  I  was  placed  in  a 
coupe  before  the  engine,  in  order  that  I  might  see  the  road ; 
and  in  this  somewhat  formidable  position  ran  over  about  forty 
miles  of  the  Desert  in  about  an  hour  and  a  half.  It  is  a 
wonderful  sight  this  strange  barren  expanse  of  stone  and 
gravel,  with  here  and  there  a  small  encampment  of  railway 
labourers,  after  passing  through  the  luxuriant  Valley  of  the 
Nile,  teeming  with  production  and  life,  animal  and  vegetable. 
In  the  morning  air  there  was  a  healthy  freshness,  which  was 
very  delightful.  At  the  end  of  our  hour  and  a  half  we 
reached  the  termination  of  the  part  of  the  railway  which  is 
already  completed,  and  embarked  in  two-wheeled  four-horse 
vans  (such  as  you  see  in  the  Illustrated  News),  to  pass  over 
about  five  miles  of  trackless  desert,  lying  between  the  said 
terminus  and  a  station  on  the  regular  road  across  the  Desert, 
at  which  we  were  to  breakfast.  This  part  of  our  journey  was 
rough  work,  and  took  us  some  time  to  execute.  Our  station 
was  really  a  very  nice  building ;  and  while  we  were  there  a 
caravan  of  pilgrims  to  Mecca,  some  women  in  front  and  the 
men  following,  all  mounted  on  their  patient  camels,  passed  by. 
After  we  were  refreshed  we  started  for  Suez ;  and  you  will 
hardly  believe  me  when  I  tell  you,  that  we  travelled  forty- 
seven  miles  over  the  Desert  in  a  carriage  as  capacious  and 

182  •        FIKST   MISSION   TO   CHINA.  CH.  VH. 

commodious  as  a  London  town  coach,  in  four  hours  and  a 
half,  including  seven  changes  of  horses  and  a  stoppage  of  half 
an  hour.  In  short,  we  got  over  the  ground  in  about  three 
hours  and  three-fourths.  We  had  six  horses  to  our  carriage, 
and  a  swarthy  Nubian,  with  a  capital  seat  on  horseback,  rode 
by  us  all  the  way,  occasionally  reminding  our  horses  that  it 
was  intended  they  should  go  at  a  gallop. 

Eetrospect       May  \\tli. — I  am  glad  to  have  had  two  days  in  Egypt.     It 

of  Egypt.  gave  one  an  j(jea  at  ieast  of  that  country;  in  some  degree  a 
painful  one.  I  suppose  that  France  and  England,  by  their 
mutual  jealousies,  will  be  the  means  of  perpetuating  the  abomi- 
nations of  the  system  under  which  that  magnificent  country  is 
ruled.  They  say  that  the  Pacha's  revenue  is  about  4,000,000/., 
and  his  expenses  about  2,000,000/. ;  so  that  he  has  about 
2,000,000/.  of  pocket-money.  Yet  I  suppose  that  the  Fellahs, 
owing  to  their  own  industry,  and  the  incomparable  fertility  of 
the  country,  are  not  badly  off  as  compared  with  the  peasantry 
elsewhere.  We  passed,  at  one  of  our  stopping-places  between 
Cairo  and  Suez,  part  of  a  Turkish  regiment  on  their  way  to 
Jeddah.  These  men  were  dressed  in  a  somewhat  European 
costume,  some  of  them  with  the  Queen's  medal  on  their  breasts. 
There  was  a  hareem,  in  a  sort  of  omnibus,  with  them,  contain- 

Egyptian  ing  the  establishment  of  one  of  the  officers.  One  of  the  ladies 
dropped  her  veil  for  a  moment,  and  I  saw  rather  a  pretty  face; 
almost  the  only  Mahomrnedan  female  face  I  have  seen  since  I 
have  reached  this  continent.  They  are  much  more  rigorous,  it 
appears,  with  the  ladies  in  Egypt  than  at  Constantinople.  There 
they  wear  a  veil  which  is  quite  transparent,  and  go  about 
shopping :  but  in  Egypt  they  seem  to  go  very  little  out,  and 
their  veil  completely  hides  everything  but  the  eyes.  In  the 
palace  which  I  visited  near  Cairo  (and  which  the  Pacha  offered, 
if  we  had  chosen  to  take  it),  I  looked  through  some  of  the 
grated  windows  allowed  in  the  hareems,  and  I  suppose  that  it 
must  require  a  good  deal  of  practice  to  see  comfortably  out  of 
them.  It  appears  that  the  persons  who  ascend  to  the  top  of 
the  minarets  to  call  to  prayer  at  the  appointed  hours  are  blind 
men,  and  that  the  blind  are  selected  for  this  office,  lest  they 
should  be  able  to  look  down  into  the  hareems.  That  is  cer- 
tainly carrying  caution  very  far. 

Aden.  Steamship  <  Bentinck?  off  Socotra.  —  May  19th.— I  left  my 

last  letter  at  Aden.  We  landed  there  at  about  four  P.M., 

1857.  ADEN.  183 

under  a  salute  from  an  Indian  man-of-war  sloop  and  the  fort, 
which  latter  place  I  was  conveyed  in  a  carriage  which 
the  Governor  sent  for  me.  It  was  most  fearfully  hot.  The 
hills  are  rugged  and  grand,  but  wholly  barren ;  not  a  sign  of 
vegetation,  and  the  vertical  rays  of  a  tropical  sun  beating  upon 
them.  The  whole  place  is  comprised  in  a  drive  around  the  hills 
of  some  three  or  four  miles,  beyond  which  the  inhabitants  cannot 
iray  without  the  risk  of  being  seized  by  the  Arabs.  I  cannot 
mceive  a  more  dreary  spot  to  dwell  in,  though  the  Governor 
assured  me  that  the  troops  are  healthy.  He  received  me  very 
civilly,  and  insisted  that  I  should  remain  with  him  until  the 
steamer  sailed,  which  involved  leaving  his  abode  (the  canton- 
ment) at  about  half-past  three  in  the  morning.  He  took  me  to 
see  some  most  extraordinary  tanks  which  he  has  recently  dis- 
covered, and  which  must  have  been  constructed  with  great  care 
and  at  great  expense,  at  some  remote  period,  in  order  to  collect 
the  rain-water  which  falls  at  rare  intervals  in  torrents.  These 
tanks  are  so  constructed  that  the  overflow  of  the  upper  one 
fills  the  lower,  and  in  this  way,  when  the  fall  is  considerable,  a 
great  quantity  can  be  gathered.  They  were  all  filled  with 
rubbish,  and  it  is  very  possible  that  there  may  be  many  besides 
these  which  have  been  already  discovered,  but  when  they  are 
cleared  out  they  are  in  perfect  preservation.  Some  of  them 
are  of  great  capacity,  and  it  is  difficult  to  understand  how  they 
come  to  have  been  filled  up  so  completely.  The  Governor  told 
me  that  he  had,  a  few  months  before,  driven  in  his  gig  over  the 
largest,  which  I  went  with  him  to  see.  At  that  time  he  had 
no  idea  of  its  existence. 

May  22nd. — As  each  of  these  wearisome  days  passes,  I  can-  Gloomy 
not  help  being  more  and  more  determined  that,  in  so  far  as  it  ProsPecfcB» 
rests  with  me,  this  voyage   shall  not  have   been   made   for 
nothing.     However,  the  issues  are  in  higher  hands. 

Sunday,  24th. — We  are  now  told  we  shall  reach  Ceylon 
in  two  days.  ...  I  have  got  dear  Bruce's  *  large  speaking  eyes 
beside  me  while  I  am  writing,  and  mine  (ought  I  to  confess  it) 
are  very  dim,  while  all  these  thoughts  of  home  crowd  upon  me. 
There  is  nothing  congenial  to  me  in  my  present  life.  I  have 
no  elasticity  of  spirits  to  keep  up  with  the  younger  people 
around  me.  It  may  be  better  when  the  work  begins ;  but  I 

*  His  eldest  son. 

184  •       FIRST   MISSION   TO   CHINA.  CH.  VII. 

cannot  be  sanguine  even  as  to  that,  for  the  more  I  read  of  the 
blue-books  and  papers  with  which  I  have  been  furnished,  the 
more  embarrassing  the  questions  with  which  I  have  to  deal 

First  news  It  was  at  Ceylon  that  he  caught  the  first  ominous 
Indian  mutterings  of  the  terrible  storm  which  was  about  to 
Mutiny.  burst  over  India,  and  which  was  destined  so  power- 
fully to  affect  his  own  expedition.  The  news  of  the 
first  serious  disturbance,  the  mutiny  of  a  native  Regi- 
ment at  Meerut  on  the  llth  of  May,  had  just  been 
brought  by  General  Ashburnham,  the  commander  of 
the  expeditionary  force,  who  had  left  Bombay  a  few 
hours  after  the  startling  tidings  had  been  received 
through  the  telegraph.  Lord  Elgin's  first  feeling  was 
that  these  disturbances  in  India  furnished  an  additional 
reason  for  settling  affairs  in  China  with  all  possible 
speed,  so  as  to  be  free  to  succour  the  Indian  Govern- 
ment. It  was  only  when  fuller  intelligence  came  from 
Lord  Canning,  with  urgent  entreaties  for  immediate 
help,  that  he  determined,  in  consultation  with  General 
Ashburnham,  who  cordially  entered  into  all  his  views 
on  the  subject,  to  sacrifice  for  the  present  the  Chinese 
expedition,  in  order  to  pour  into  Calcutta  all  the  troops 
that  had  been  intended  for  Canton. 

Galle,  Ceylon. — May  26th. — This  is  a  very  charming  place, 
so  green  that  one  almost  forgets  the  heat.  Ashburnham  is 
here ;  we  go  on  together  to  Singapore  this  evening.  Bad  news 
from  India.  I  think  that  I  may  find  in  this  news,  if  confirmed, 
a  justification  for  pressing  matters  with  vigour  in  China,  and 
hastening  the  period  at  which  I  may  hope  to  see  you  again. 

Steamship  <  Singapore?— May  27th.— General  Ashburnham 
brought  with  him  a  report  of  a  most  serious  mutiny  in  the 
Bengal  army.  Perhaps  he  sees  it  in  the  worst  light,  because 
he  has  always  (I  remember  his  speaking  to  me  on  the  subject 
at  Balbirnie)  predicted  that  something  of  the  kind  would  occur  ; 
but,  apart  from  his  anticipations,  the  matter  seems  grave  enough. 
The  mutineers  have  murdered  Europeans,  seized  the  fort  and 
treasure  of  Delhi,  and  proclaimed  the  son  of  the  Great  Mogul. 

1857.  NEWS   OF   THE   INDIAN   MUTINY.  185 

There  seems  to  be  no  adequate  European  force  at  hand  to  put 
them  down,  and  the  season  is  bad  for  operations  by  Europeans. 
Such  is  the  sum  and  substance  of  this  report,  as  conveyed  by 
telegraph  to  Elphinstone,  the  evening  before  Ashburnham  left 
Bombay.  I  was  a  good  deal  tempted  to  remain  at  Galle  for  a 
few  hours,  in  order  to  await  the  arrival  of  the  homeward-bound 
steamer  from  Calcutta,  and  to  get  further  news ;  but,  on  re- 
flection, I  came  to  the  conclusion,  that  the  best  course  to  take 
was  to  view  this  grave  intelligence  as  an  inducement  to  press 
on  to  China.  I  wrote  officially  to  Clarendon  to  say,  that  if 
this  intelligence  was  confirmed,  it  might  have  a  tendency  to 
lower  our  prestige  in  the  East,  and  to  increase  the  influence  of 
the  party  opposed  to  reason  in  China ;  that  this  state  of  affairs 
might  make  it  more  than  ever  necessary  that  I  should  endeavour 
to  bring  matters  in  China  to  an  issue  at  the  earliest  moment, 
so  as  to  anticipate  this  mischief,  and  to  place  the  regiments 
destined  for  China  at  the  disposal  of  Government  for  service 

May  29th. — We  are  now  near  the  close  of  our  voyage, 
and  the  serious  work  is  about  to  begin.  Up  to  this  point  I 
have  heard  nothing  to  throw  any  light  upon  my  prospects.  It 
s  impossible  to  read  the  blue-books  without  feeling  that  we 
Jiave  often  acted  towards  the  Chinese  in  a  manner  which  it  is 
j'ery  difficult  to  justify;  and  yet  their  treachery  and  cruelty 
home  out  so  strongly  at  times  as  to  make  almost  anything 
appear  justifiable. 

Penang. — June  \st. — We  have  just  returned  to  our  vessel 
after  a  few  hours  spent  on  shore ;  or,  rather,  I  have  just 
emerged  from  a  bath  in  which  I  have  been  reclining  for  half  an 
hour,  endeavouring  to  cool  myself  after  a  hot  morning's  work. 
We  made  this  place  at  about  eleven  last  night,  running  into 
the  harbour  by  the  assistance  of  a  bright  moon.  The  water 
was  perfectly  smooth,  and  I  stood  on  the  paddle-box  for  some 
hours,  watching  the  distant  hills  as  they  rose  into  sight  and  faded 
from  our  view,  and  the  bright  phosphorescent  light  of  the  sea 
cut  by  our  prow,  and  which,  despite  the  clearness  of  the  night, 
was  sometimes  almost  too  brilliant  to  be  gazed  at.  When  we 
dropped  our  anchor,  the  captain  still  professed  to  doubt  whether 
or  not  he  would  have  to  proceed  immediately ;  but  he  gave 
me  to  understand  that,  if  he  could  not  accomplish  this,  he  would 
not  wish  to  leave  until  twelve  to-day,  so  that  I  should  in  that 


case  have  an  opportunity  ot  landing  and  ascending  the  moun- 
tain summit.  On  this  hint  I  had  a  bed  prepared  on  deck 
(fearing  the  heat  of  the  cabins),  and  tried,  though  rather  in 
vain,  to  take  a  few  hours'  sleep.  At  five  A.M.  I  was  told  that 
the  Resident,  Mr.  Lewis,  was  on  board,  that  carriages  and 
horses  were  ready,  and  that,  if  I  wished  to  mount  the  hill,  the 
time  had  arrived  for  the  operation.  I  immediately  made  a 
hasty  toilette,  and  set  forth  accompanied  by  the  General,  some 
of  the  others  following.  We  were  conveyed  in  a  carriage  three 
miles,  to  the  foot  of  the  hill,  and  on  pony-back  as  much  more 
up  it,  through  a  dense  tropical  vegetation  which  reminded  me 
of  my  Jamaica  days.  At  the  end  of  the  ride  we  arrived  at  the 
Government  bungalow,  and  found  one  of  the  most  magnificent 
views  I  ever  witnessed ;  in  the  foreground  this  tropical  luxu- 
riance, and  beyond,  far  below,  the  glistening  sea  studded  with 
ships  and  boats  innumerable,  over  which  again  the  Malay 
peninsula  with  its  varied  outline.  I  had  hardly  begun  to  ad- 
mire the  scene,  when  a  gentleman  in  a  blue  flannel  sort  of  dress, 
with  a  roughish  beard  and  a  cigar  in  his  mouth,  made  his  ap- 

Bishop  of    pearance,  and  was  presented  to  me  as  the  Bishop  of  Labuan  ! 

Labuan.  jje  was  there  endeavouring  to  recruit  his  health,  which  has 
suffered  a  good  deal.  He  complained  of  the  damp  of  the 
climate,  while  admitting  its  many  charms,  and  seemed  to  think 
that  he  owed  to  the  dampness  a  very  bad  cold  by  which  he  was 
afflicted.  Soon  afterwards  his  wife  joined  us.  They  were 
both  at  Sarawak  when  the  last  troubles  took  place,  and  must 
have  had  a  bad  time  of  it.  The  Chinese  behaved  well  to  them; 
indeed  they  seemed  desirous  to  make  the  Bishop  their  leader. 
His  converts  (about  fifty)  were  stanch,  and  he  has  a  school  at 
which  about  the  same  number  of  Chinese  boys  are  educated. 
These  facts  pleaded  in  his  favour,  and  it  says  something  for 
the  Chinese  that  they  were  not  insensible  to  these  claims. 
They  committed  some  cruel  acts,  but  they  certainly  might  have 
committed  more.  They  respected  the  women  except  one  (Mrs. 
C.,  whom  they  wounded  severely),  and  they  stuck  by  the 
Bishop  until  they  found  that  he  was  trying  to  bring  Brooke 
back.  They  then  turned  upon  him,  and  he  had  to  run  for  his 
life.  The  Bishop  gave  me  an  interesting  description  of  his 

Character  school  of  Chinese  boys.  He  says  they  are  much  more  like 
English  boys  than  other  Orientals :  that  when  a  new  boy 
comes  they  generally  get  up  a  fight,  and  let  him  earn  his  place 

1857.  DIVERSION   OF   TROOPS.  187 

by  his  prowess.  But  there  is  no  managing  them  without 
pretty  severe  punishments.  Indeed,  he  says  that  if  a  boy  be  in 
fault  the  others  do  not  at  all  like  his  not  being  well  punished ; 
they  seem  to  think  that  it  is  an  injustice  to  the  rest  if  this  is 
omitted.  I  am  about  to  do  with  a  strange  people ;  so  much  to 
admire  in  them,  and  yet  with  a  perversity  of  disposition  which 
makes  it  absolutely  necessary,  if  you  are  to  live  with  them  at 
all,  to  treat  them  severely,  sometimes  almost  cruelly.  They 
have  such  an  overweening  esteem  for  themselves,  that  they 
become  unbearable  unless  they  are  constantly  reminded  that 
others  are  as  good  as  they.  .  .  .  The  Bishop  seemed  to  think 
that  it  would  be  a  very  good  thing  if  the  Rajah  were  to  go  home 
for  a  time,  and  leave  the  government  to  his  nephew,  whom  he 
praises  much.  .  .  .  When  we  came  down  from  the  mountain 
we  went  to  the  house  of  the  Resident  on  the  shore,  and  there  I 
found  all  the  world  of  Penang  assembled  to  meet  me ;  among 
them  a  quantity  of  Chinese  in  full  mandarin  costume.  It  was 
not  easy,  under  the  circumstances,  to  make  conversation  for 
them,  but  it  was  impossible  not  to  be  pleased  with  their  good- 
humoured  faces,  on  which  there  rests  a  perpetual  grin.  We 
had  a  grand  ( spread,'  in  which  fresh  fish,  mangosteen,  and  a 
horrible  fruit  whose  name  I  forget  (dorian),  but  whose  smell 
I  shall  ever  remember,  played  a  conspicuous  part.  After  break- 
fast we  returned  to  our  ship  to  be  broiled  for  about  an  hour, 
then  to  bathe,  and  now  (after  that  I  have  inserted  these  words 
in  my  journal  to  you)  to  finish  dressing. 

June  3rd. — Just  arrived  at  Singapore.     Urgent  letters  from   Singapore. 
Canning  to  send  him  troops.    I  have  not  a  man.  (  Shannon'  not 

Singapore. — June  5th. — I  am  on  land,  which  is  at  any  rate 
one  thing  gained.  But  I  am  only  about  eighty  miles  from 
the  equator,  and  about  two  hundred  feet  above  the  level 
of  the  sea.  The  Java  wind,  too,  is  blowing,  which  is  the  hot 
wind  in  these  quarters,  so  that  you  may  imagine  what  is  the 
condition  of  my  pores.  I  sent  my  last  letter  immediately  after 
landing,  and  had  little  time  to  add  a  word  from  land,  as  I 
found  a  press  of  business,  and  a  necessity  for  writing  to  Claren- 
don by  the  mail;  the  fact  being,  that  I  received  letters  from 
Canning,  imploring  me  to  send  troops  to  him  from  the  number 
destined  for  China.  As  we  have  no  troops  yet,  and  do  not  well 
know  when  we  may  have  any,  it  was  not  exactly  an  easy 


Diversion     matter  to  comply  with  this  request.     However,  I  did  what  I 
of  troops  to  Could5  and,  in  concert  with  the  General,  have  sent  instructions 

far  and  wide  to  turn  the  transports  back,  and  give  Canning  the 

benefit  of  the  troops  for  the  moment. 

The  importance  of  the  determination,  thus  simply 
announced,  can  hardly  be  exaggerated.  4  Tell  Lord 
Elgin,'  wrote  Sir  William  Peel,  the  heroic  leader  of  the 
celebrated  Naval  Brigade,  after  the  neck  of  the  re- 
bellion was  broken,  c  tell  Lord  Elgin  that  it  was  the 
4  Chinese  Expedition  that  relieved  Lucknow,  relieved 
4  Cawnpore,  and  fought  the  battle  of  the  6th  December.' 
Nor  would  it  be  easy  to  praise  too  highly  the  large  and 
patriotic  spirit  which  moved  the  heads  of  the  Expedi- 
tion to  an  act  involving  at  once  so  generous  a  renunci- 
ation of  all  selfish  hopes  and  prospects,  and  so  bold  an 
assumption  of  responsibility.  Proofs  were  not  want- 
ing afterwards  that  the  sacrifice  was  appreciated  by 
the  Queen  and  the  country ;  but  these  were  necessarily 
deferred,  and  it  was  all  the  more  gratifying,  therefore, 
to  Lord  Elgin  to  receive,  at  the  time  and  on  the  spot, 
the  following  cordial  expressions  of  approval  from  a 
distinguished  public  servant,  with  whom  he  was  him- 
self but  slightly  acquainted — Sir  H.  Ward,  then  Go- 
vernor of  Ceylon : — 

4  You  may  think  me  impertinent  in  volunteering  an 
4  opinion  upon  what  in  the  first  instance  only  concerns 
4  you  and  the  Queen  and  Lord  Canning.  But  having 
4  seen  something  of  public  life  during  a  great  part  of  my 
4  own,  which  is  now  fast  verging  into  the  a  sere  and 
4  u  yellow  leaf,"  I  may  venture  to  say  that  I  never  knew 
4  a  nobler  thing  than  that  which  you  have  done  in  prefer- 
4  ring  the  safety  of  India  to  the  success  of  your  Chinese 
4  negotiations.  If  I  know  anything  of  English  public 
4  opinion,  this  single  act  will  place  you  higher,  in  general 
4  estimation  as  a  statesman,  than  your  whole  past  career, 
4  honourable  and  fortunate  as  it  has  been.  For  it  is  not 

1857.  SINGAPORE.  189 

1  every  man  who  would  venture  to  alter  the  destination  of 
4  a  force  upon  the  despatch  of  which  a  Parliament  has  been 
4  dissolved,  and  a  Government  might  have  been  super- 
4  seded.  It  is  not  every  man  who  would  consign  himself 
4  for  many  months  to  political  inaction  in  order  simply  to 
4  serve  the  interests  of  his  country.  You  have  set  a  bright 
4  example  at  a  moment  of  darkness  and  calamity;  and,  if 
4  India  can  be  saved,  it  is  to  you  that  we  shall  owe  its 
4  redemption,  for  nothing  short  of  the  Chinese  expedi- 
4  tion  could  have  supplied  the  means  of  holding  our 
'  ground  until  further  reinforcements  are  received.' 

For  the  time  the  disappointment  was  great.  His 
occupation  was  gone,  and  with  it  all  hope  of  a  speedy 
end  to  his  labours.  Six  weary  months  he  waited, 
powerless  to  act  and  therefore  powerless  to  negotiate, 
and  feeling  that  every  week's  delay  tended  to  aggravate 
the  difficulties  of  the  situation  in  China. 

Singapore. — June  5th. — It  is,  of  course,  difficult  to  conjecture 
how  this  Indian  business  may  affect  us  in  China,  and  I  shall 
await  our  next  news  from  India  with  no  little  anxiety.  Await 
it,  I  say,  for  there  is  no  prospect  of  my  getting  on  from  here 
at  present.  There  is  no  word  of  the  '  Shannon/  and  till  she 
arrives  I  am  a  fixture. 

June  6th. — This  morning  the  Governor  took  me  on  foot  to  Convict  es- 
the  convict  establishment,  at  which  some  2,500  murderers,  &c., 
from  India  are  confined,  and  some  fifty  women,  who  are  gene- 
rally, after  about  two  years  of  penal  servitude,  let  out  on  con- 
dition that  they  consent  to  marry  convicts.  I  cannot  say  that 
their  appearance  made  me  envy  the  convicts  much,  although 
some  of  them  were  perhaps  better-looking  than  the  women 
one  meets  out  of  the  prison.  In  truth,  one  meets  very  few 
women  at  all,  and  those  that  one  sees  are  far  from  attractive. 
Au  reste,  the  convicts  go  about  apparently  very  little  guarded, 
with  a  chain  round  the  waist  and  each  leg.  The  church,  which 
we  afterwards  visited,  is  rather  an  imposing  edifice,  and  is 
being  built  by  convict  labour,  at  the  cost  of  the  Indian 

June  Sth. — This  morning  I  visited,  in  my  walk,  some  of  the  Opium- 
horrid  opium-shops,  which  we  are  supposed  to  do  so  much  to 



CH.  VH. 


of  the 

encourage.  They  are  wretched  dark  places,  with  little  lamps, 
in  which  the  smokers  light  their  pipes,  glimmering  on  the 
shelves  made  of  boards,  on  which  they  recline  and  puff  until 
they  fall  asleep.  The  opium  looks  like  treacle,  and  the  smokers 
are  haggard  and  stupefied,  except  at  the  moment  of  inhaling, 
when  an  unnatural  brightness  sparkles  from  their  eyes.  After 
escaping  from  these  horrid  dens,  I  went  to  visit  a  Chinese 
merchant  who  lives  in  a  very  good  house,  and  is  a  man  of  con- 
siderable wealth.  He  speaks  English,  and  never  was  in  China, 
having  been  born  in  Malacca.  I  had  tea,  and  was  introduced 
to  his  mother,  wife,  and  two  boys  and  two  girls.  He  intends 
to  send  one  of  his  sons  to  England  for  education.  He  de- 
nounces opium  and  the  other  vices  of  his  countrymen,  and  their 
secret  societies.  All  the  well-to-do  Chinese  agree  in  this,  but 
they  have  not  moral  courage  to  come  out  against  them.  In- 
deed, I  suppose  they  could  hardly  do  so  without  great  risk. 
.  .  .  Alas  !  still  no  sign  of  the  f  Shannon.' 

June  \ith. — At  half-past  four  this  morning  the  '  Shannon' 
arrived.  Captain  Peel  came  up  to  breakfast.  He  has  made 
a  quick  passage,  as  he  came  almost  all  the  way  under  canvas : 
such  were  his  orders  from  the  Admiralty.  He  says  that  his 
ship  is  the  fastest  sailer  he  has  ever  been  on  board  of;  that  he 
has  the  best  set  of  officers  ;  in  short,  all  is  very  cheery  with 
him.  I  told  him  I  should  not  start  till  after  the  arrival  of  the 
steamer  from  England,  and  he  requires  that  time  to  get  ready, 
as  it  appears  that  he  had  only  twelve  hours'  notice  that  he 
was  to  take  me  when  he  left  England.  On  Tuesday,  at  noon, 
the  Chinese  arrived  with  an  address  to  me.  I  had  a  reply  pre- 
pared, which  was  translated  into  Malay,  and  read  by  a  native. 
It  is  a  most  extraordinary  circumstance  that,  in  this  place, 
where  there  are  some  60,000  or  T05000  Chinese,  and  where  the 
Europeans  are  always  imagining  that  they  are  plotting,  &c., 
there  is  not  a  single  European  who  can  speak  their  language. 
No  doubt  this  is  a  great  source  of  misunderstanding.  The  last 
row,  which  did  not  end  in  a  massacre,  but  which  might  have 
done  so,  originated  in  the  receipt  of  certain  police  regulations 
from  Calcutta.  These  regulations  were  ill  translated,  and 
published  after  Christmas  Day.  The  Chinese,  believing  that 
they  authorised  the  police  to  enter  their  houses  at  all  periods, 
to  interfere  with  their  amusements  at  the  New  Year,  &c.,  shut 
up  their  shops,  which  is  their  constitutional  mode  of  expressing 


dissatisfaction.  It  was  immediately  inferred  in  certain  quarters 
that  the  Chinese  intended,  out  of  sympathy  with  the  Cantonese, 
to  murder  all  the  Europeans.  Luckily  the  Governor  thought 
it  advisable  to  explain  to  them  what  the  obnoxious  ordinances 
really  meant  before  proceeding  to  exterminate  them,  and  a  few 
hours  of  explanation  had  the  effect  of  inducing  them  to  re-open 
their  shops,  and  go  on  quietly  with  their  usual  avocations. 
Just  the  same  thing  happened  at  Penang.  There  too,  because 
the  Chinamen  showed  some  disinclination  to  obey  regulations 
of  police  which  interfered  with  their  amusements  and  habits,  a 
plot  against  the  Europeans  was  immediately  suspected,  and 
great  indignation  expressed  because  it  was  not  put  down  with 
vigour  ! 

June  13th. — I  have  just  been  interrupted  to  go  and  see  the  The 
Sultan  of  Johore.  These  princes  in  this  country,  and  indeed  j^^  ° 
all  over  the  East,  are  spoilt  from  their  childhood,  all  their 
passions  indulged  and  fostered  by  their  parents,  who  say, 
'  What  is  the  use  of  being  a  prince,  if  he  may  not  have  more 
'  ghee,  &c.  &c.  than  his  neighbours  ?  '  I  do  not  see  what  can  be 
done  for  them.  At  the  school  I  visited  this  morning  are  two 
sultan's  sons  (of  Queddah),  but  they  were  at  home  for  some 
holidays,  when  they  will  probably  be  ruined.  During  my 
morning's  walk  I  heard  something  like  the  sound  of  a  school 
in  a  house  adjoining,  and  I  proposed  to  enter  and  inspect.  I 
found  an  establishment  of  Freres  chretiens,  and  one  of  them  Freres 
(an  Irishman)  claimed  acquaintance,  as  having  been  with  Bishop  ch™tiens. 
Phelan  when  he  visited  me  in  Canada.  We  struck  up  a  friend- 
ship accordingly,  and  I  told  him  that  if  there  were  any  Soeurs 
I  should  like  to  see  them.  He  introduced  me  to  the  Yicar 
Apostolic,  a  Frenchman,  and  we  went  to  the  establishment  of 
the  Soeurs.  I  found  the  Superieure  a  very  superior  person,  Smirs. 
evidently  with  her  heart  in  the  work,  and  ready  for  any  fate 
to  which  it  might  expose  her,  but  quiet  and  cheerful.  I  told 
her  that  a  devout  lady  in  Paris  had  expressed  a  fear  that  my 
mission  to  China  would  put  an  end  to  martyrdom  in  that 
country.  She  smiled,  and  said  that  she  thought  there  would 
always  be  on  this  earth  martyrdom  in  abundance.  The  Sisters 
educate  a  number  of  orphan  girls  as  well  as  others.  All  the 
missionary  zeal  in  these  quarters  seems  to  be  among  the 
French  priests.  Some  one  once  said  that  it  was  not  wonderful 
that  young  men  took  away  so  much  learning  from  Oxford  as 



CH.  VII. 

View  from 

they  left  so  little  behind  them.  The  same  may,  I  think,  be 
said  of  the  French  religion.  It  seems  all  intended  for  ex- 

June  1 5th. — I  see  from  my  window  that  a  French  steamer 
Singapore.  hag  jugt  CQme  into  fae  harbour  and  dropped  her  anchor.  This 
reminds  me  that  I  have  not  yet  told  you  what  I  see  from 
this  window — if  1  may  apply  the  term  window  to  a  row  of 
Venetian  blinds  running  all  round  the  house  or  bungalow,  for 
this  residence  is  not  dignified  by  the  title  '  house.'  I  am  on  an 
eminence  about  200  feet  above  the  sea;  immediately  below 
me  the  town ;  on  one  side  a  number  of  houses  with  dark  red 
roofs,  surrounded  with  trees,  looking  very  like  a  flower-garden, 
and  confirming  me  in  my  opinion  of  the  beauty  of  such  roofs 
^When  so  situated;  on  the  other,  the  same  red-roofed  houses 
without  trees,  which  makes  all  the  difference.  Beyond,  the 
harbour,  or  rather  anchorage,  filled  with  ships,  the  mighty 
( Shannon '  in  the  centre —  a  triton  among  the  minnows.  Beyond, 
again,  a  wide  opening  to  the  sea,  with  lowish  shores,  rocky, 
and  covered  with  wood,  running  out  on  either  side.  Such  is 
the  prospect  ever  before  me,  a  very  fine  one  during  the  day, 
still  more  interesting  at  night  when  it  all  sparkles  with 
lights,  and  the  great  tropical  moon  looks  calmly  down  on  the 

H.  M.  S.  'Shannon.' — June  24th. — I  daresay  you  will  consider 
me  an  object  of  envy  when  I  describe  to  you  where  I  am, — on 
board  of  a  magnificent  ship-of-war,  carrying  sixty  68 -pounders, 
our  foremast  and  mainmast  sails  set,  and  gliding  through  the 
water  with  just  motion  enough  to  tell  us  that  the  pulse  of  the 
great  sea  is  beating.  The  temperature  of  the  air  is  high,  but 
the  day  is  somewhat  cloudy,  and  the  sails  throw  a  shadow  on 
the  deck.  The  only  thing  I  regret  is,  that  having  no  poop, 
the  high  bulwarks  close  us  in  and  shut  out  both  the  air  and 
prospect.  One  can  only  get  these  by  climbing  up  on  a  sort  of 
standing-place  on  the  side.  .  .  .  Our  departure  from  Singapore 
was  very  striking.  .  .  .  Not  only  were  all  the  troops  and 
volunteers  under  arms,  with  Chinamen  and  merchants  in  crowds, 
but  (may  I  mention  it)  the  fair  ladies  of  Singapore  were  drawn 
up  in  a  row  to  give  us  a  parting  salute.  We  moved  off  in  our 
boats,  under  a  salute  from  the  battery,  which  was  repeated  by 
the  <  Spartan '  as  I  passed  her,  and  by  the  <  Shannon '  when  I 
got  on  board,  both  these  vessels  manning  yards.  The  French 


board  the 
'  Shannon 

1857.  CHANGE   OF   PLANS.  193 

admiral  honoured  me  also  with  a  salute  as  I  passed  him  after 
getting  under  weigh,  although  the  sun  had  already  set. 

July  1st. — Another  month  begun.  Last  night,  at  dinner,  we 
were  startled  by  hearing  that  we  seemed  to  be  running  on  a 
rock  or  shoal,  where  no  rock  or  shoal  was  known  to  exist.  We 
backed  our  screw,  and  finally  went  over  the  alarming  spot,  and 
on  sounding  found  no  bottom.  The  sea  was  discoloured,  but 
whether  it  was  by  the  spawn  of  fish  or  sea-weed  we  could  not 
discover.  Peel  took  up  water  in  a  bucket,  but  could  discover 
nothing.  If  we  had  not  been  a  screw,  and  had  had  nothing 
but  sails  to  rely  on,  we  should  have  kept  clear  of  this  apparent 
danger,  and  the  result  would  have  been  that  a  shoal  would  have 
been  marked  on  the  charts,  where,  in  point  of  fact,  no  shoal 
exists.  Captain  Keppel's  adventure  makes  captains  cautious. 

Bong-kong. — July  §rd. — I  am  headachy  and  fagged,  for  I   Arrival  at 
have  had  some  hours  of  the  most  fatiguing  of  all  things—  a  HongkonS- 
succession  of  interviews,  begin  Ding  with  the  Admiral,  General, 
£c.  ...  1  found  the  Admiral  strong  on  the  point  that  Canton 
is  the  only  place  where  we  ought  to  fight.  .  .  .    However,  I 
hope  we  may  get  oif  to  the  North  in  about  ten  days, — as  soon 
as  we  have  sent  oif  these  letters,  and  got  (as  we  ought)  two 
mails  from  home. 

July  9th. — An  interval .  .  .  during  which  I  have  been  doing 
a  good  many  things,  my  greatest  enjoyment  and  pleasure  being 
the  receipt  at  last  of  two  sets  of  letters  from  home.  ...  I 
have  a  great  heap  of  despatches,  some  of  which  seem  rather 
likely  to  perplex  me.  I  daresay,  however,  that  I  shall  see  my 
way  through  the  mist  in  a  day  or  two.  ...  I  had  a  levee  last 
evening,  which  was  largely  attended.  The  course  which  I  am 
about  to  follow  does  not  square  with  the  views  of  the  mer- 
chants, but  I  gave  an  answer  to  their  address,  which  gave  them 
for  the  moment  wonderful  satisfaction.  ...  A  document, 
taken  in  one  of  the  Chinese  junks  lately  captured,  states  that 
'  Devils'  heads  are  fallen  in  price,' —  an  announcement  not 
strictly  complimentary,  but  reassuring  to  you  as  regards  our 

Up  to  this  time  Lord  Elgin  had  not  entirely  given  Change  of 
up  the  hope  that  the  troops  which  he  had  detached 
to  Calcutta  might  be  restored  to  him  before  the  setting 
in   of  winter   should   make   it  impossible  to  proceed, 


194  FIRST   MISSION   TO   CHIXA.  On.  VII. 

as  his  instructions  required,  to  the  mouth  of  the 
Peiho,  and  there  open  negotiations  with  the  Court  of 
Pekin.  But  on  the  14th  of  July  came  letters  from 
Lord  Canning,  written  in  a  strain  of  deeper  anxiety 
than  any  that  had  preceded ;  and  giving  no  hope  that 
any  troops  could  be  spared  from  India  for  many  months 
to  come.  At  the  same  time  Lord  Elgin  learned  that 
the  French,  on  whose  co-operation  he  counted,  could 
not  act  until  the  arrival  of  the  chief  of  the  mission, 
Baron  Gros,  who  was  not  expected  to  reach  China  till 
the  end  of  September.  In  this  state  of  things,  to 
remain  at  Hong-Kong  was  worse  than  useless  The 
sight  of  his  inaction,  and  the  knowledge  of  the  reasons 
which  enforced  it,  could  not  fail  to  damage  the  position 
of  England  with  the  public  of  China,  both  Chinese  and 
foreign.  He  formed,  therefore,  the  sudden  resolution 
to  proceed  in  person  to  Calcutta,  where  he  would  be 
within  easier  reach  of  telegraphic  instructions  from 
England;  where  he  would  have  the  advantage  of  per- 
sonal communication  with  Lord  Canning,  and  of  learn- 
ing for  himself  at  what  time  he  might  expect  to  have 
any  troops  at  his  command;  and  where,  moreover,  his 
appearance  might  have  a  moral  effect  in  support  of  the 
Government  greater  than  the  amount  of  any  material 
force  at  his  disposal. 

Sails  for  JJ.  M.  S.  'Shannon.' — July  19th. — I  wonder  what  ypu  will 

think  when  you  receive  this  letter ;  that  is,  if  I  succeed  in 
despatching  it  from  the  point  where  I  wish  to  post  it.  Will 
you  think  me  mad  ?  or  what  will  your  view  of  my  proceedings 
be?  .  .  .  Here  I  am  actually  on  my  way  to  Calcutta!  To 
Calcutta !  you  will  exclaim  in  surprise.  The  reasons  for  this 
step  are  so  numerous,  that  I  can  hardly  attempt  to  enumerate 
them.  I  found  myself  at  Hong-kong,  without  troops  and 
without  competent  representatives  of  our  allies  (America  and 
France)  to  concert  with  ;  doomed  either  to  aborder  the  Court 
of  Pekin  alone,  without  the  power  of  acting  vigorously  if  I 
met  a  repulse,  or  to  spend  three  months  at  Hong-kong  doing 
nothing,  and  proclaiming  to  the  whole  world  that  I  am  waiting 

.  CHANGE   OF   PLANS.  195 

for  the  Frenchman;   i.e.  that  England  can  do  nothing  without 
'ranee.     I  considered  the  great  objections  which   existed  to 
either  of  these  courses.    Sur  ces  entrefaites,  came  further  letters 
from  Canning,  begging  for  more  help  from  me,  and  showing 
that  things  are  even  worse  with  him  than  they  were  when  I  first 
heard  from  him.     It  occurred  to  me  that  I  might  occupy  the 
three  months  well  in  running  up  to  Calcutta,  taking  with  me 
what  assistance  I  can  collect  for  him,  and  obtaining  thereby  an 
>pportunity  of  conferring  with  him,  and  learning  from  him  what 
jhance  I  have  of  getting  before  the  winter  the  troops  which  I 
lave  detached  to  his  support.      Sir  M.  Seymour  approved  the 
>lan  warmly.     It  occurred  to  me  on  Tuesday  evening,  and  on 
"hursday  I  was  under  weigh.     Alas !  Thomme  propose,  mais 
Heu  dispose  !     The  monsoon  is  against  us,  and  as  this  ship  is 
>ractically  useless  as  a  steamer,  as  she  can  only  carry  coals  for 
ive  days,  we  are  beating  against  the   wind,  and  making  little 
>rogress.     Perhaps  my  whole  plans  may  fail,  because  I  have 
he  misfortune  to  be  in  one  of  H.  M.'s  ships  instead  of  in  a 
good  merchant  steamer,  which  would  be  going  at  ten  miles  an 
hour  in  a  direct  line,  while  we  are  going  at  six  in  an  oblique 
one.     However,  we  must  hope  for  the  best. 

Whether  we  are  to  have  peace  or  war  with  China,  either 
object  will  be  much  more  effectually  accomplished,  when  the 
European  forces  are  acting  together,  than  when  we  are  alone ; 
the  Russians  meanwhile,  no  doubt,  hinting  to  the  Emperor  that 
we  are  in  a  bad  way  in  India.  The  plan,  then,  if  we  can  ac- 
complish it,  is  this  :  To  run  up  as  fast  as  I  can  to  Calcutta,  and 
to  return  so  as  to  meet  Baron  Gros,  who  is  not  expected  till 
the  middle  of  September.  There  will  just  be  time  to  commu- 
nicate with  the  Court  of  Pekin  before  winter.  I  have  men- 
tioned the  reasons  for  these  proceedings,  derived  from  my  own 
position ;  but,  of  course,  I  am  mainly  influenced  by  a  considera- 
tion for  Canning.  In  both  his  letters  he  has  expressed  a  desire 
to  see  me,  and  I  am  told  that  my  appearance  there  with  what 
the  Indian  public  will  consider  the  first  of  a  large  force,  will 
produce  a  powerful  moral  effect.  I  ought  to  be  there  at  least 
two  months  before  he  can  receive  a  man  from  England. 

July  20th,1 — Would  that  I  were  at  home  to-day  !     You  say  Birthday, 
that  I  do  not  appreciate  anniversaries,  but  it  is  chiefly  because 
it  is  so  sad  when  the  days  come  when  they  cannot  be  celebrated 

1  His  birthday,  and  also  his  father's, 
o  2 


as  of  yore.  '  Nessun  maggior  dolor e?  Do  not  anniversaries  stir 
this  great  fountain  of  sadness  ?  I  feel  sad  when  I  look  at  this 
inhospitable  sea,  and  think  of  the  smiling  countenances  with 
which  I  should  have  been  surrounded  at  home,  and  the  joyous 
laugh  when  papa,  with  affected  surprise,  detected  the  present 
wrapped  up  carefully  in  a  paper  parcel  on  the  breakfast  table. 
Is  it  not  lawful  to  be  sad  ? 

July  25th. — The  consequences  of  being  at  so  great  a  dis- 
tance from  head-quarters  are  very  singular,  e.g.  in  this  case 
I  shall  not  hear  whether  the  Government  approve  or  not  of  this 
move  of  mine  until  it  has  become  matter  of  history;  until,  in  all 
probability,  I  have  carried  out  my  plan  of  visiting  the  Peiho 
with  the  French  Ambassador.  It  certainly  contrasts  very 
strongly  with  the  position  of  a  diplomatic  functionary  in 
Europe  now,  when  reference  is  made  by  telegraph  to  head- 
quarters in  every  case  of  difficulty.  .  .  .  This  seems  a  very 
solitary  sea.  We  have  passed  in  all,  I  think,  two  ships.  This 
morning  once  or  twice  we  have  met  a  log  floating  with  one  or 
two  birds  standing  upon  it.  Yesterday  great  excitement  was 
created  by  the  discovery  of  a  cask  floating  on  the  surface  of  the 
sea.  Telescopes  were  brogues  from  every  part  of  the  ship  upon 
this  unhappy  cask,  which  went  bobbing  up  and  down,  very 
unconscious  of  the  sensation  it  was  creating.  This  incident  will 
convey  to  you  an  idea  of  how  monotonous  our  life  is. 

July  21th. — At  about  four  yesterday  another  excitement, 
greater  than  that  created  by  the  floating  cask.  Peel  informed 
me  that  there  was  a  steamer  in  sight,  coming  towards  us. 
Many  were  the  speculations  as  to  what  she  could  be.  It  was 
generally  agreed  that  she  was  the  (  Transit,'  as  she  was  due 
about  this  time.  As  we  neared  her,  however,  she  dwindled  in 
size,  and  proved  a  rather  dirty -looking  merchant-craft  with  an 
auxiliary  screw.  On  asking  whence  she  came,  she  informed 
us  that  she  was  from  Calcutta,  and  that  she  had  a  letter  for 
me.  It  proved  to  be  from  Canning,  in  no  respect  more  en- 
couraging than  his  former  letters,  and  therefore,  in  so-  far,  con- 
firmatory of  the  propriety  of  my  present  move. 

July  31st. — En  route  for  Calcutta.  We  reached  Singapore 
on  the  28th,  at  about  two  P.M.  I  landed  and  went  to  my  old 
quarters  at  the  Governor's.  I  found  it  deliciously  cool,  much 
more  so  than  it  was  during  my  former  visit.  .  .  .  My  friends 
at  Singapore  were  very  cordial  in  their  welcome  of  me,  and  the 

1857.  CALCUTTA.  197 

lerchants  immediately  drew  up  an  address  expressive  of  their 
satisfaction  at  my  move  on  Calcutta.    We  have  taken  on  board 
100  men  of  the  detachment  of  the  90th  which  was  on  board  the 
Transit/  and  put  the  remainder  into  the s  Pearl,'  so  that  we  are 
crammed  to  the  hilt.     Please  God  we  may  reach  Calcutta  in 
about  a  week  or  less,  and  then  a  new  chapter  begins.  Just  as  we 
were  starting  yesterday,  an  opium-ship  from  Calcutta  arrived, 
id  brought  me  a  letter  and  despatch  from  Canning,  more  urgent 
id  gloomy  than  any  of  the  preceding  ones.     The  '  Simoom ' 
ind  '  Himalaya '  had  both  arrived,  but  he  was  clamorous  for 
lore  help,  and  broadly  tells  me  that  I  must  not  expect  to  get 
my  of  my  men  back.     So   here  I  am  deprived  of  the  force 
>n  which  I  was  to  rely  in  China  !  .  .  .   Canning's  letter  is  dated 
le  21st,  and  therefore  contains  the  latest  intelligence.   Nothing 
jan  be  worse.     I  am  happy  to  say  that  I  have  already  sent  to 
lira  even  more  than  he  has  asked.  ...  I  trust  that  I  may  do 
>me  good,  but  of  course  things  are  so  bad  that  one  fears  that 
it  may  be  too  late  to  hope  that  any  great  moral  effect  can  be 
produced  by  one's  arrival.     However,  I  have  with  me  about 
1,700  fighting  men,  and  perhaps  we  may  have  more,  if  we  find 
a  transport  in  the  Straits,  and  take  it  in  tow. 

On  the  8th  August  the  4  Shannon  '  reached  Calcutta.  Arrival  at 
Her  arrival  is  thus  described  by  Mr.  Oliphant1 : — 

4  As  we  swept  past  Garden  Reach,  on  the  afternoon 
4  of  the  8th  August,  the  excitement  on  board  was  in- 
4  creased  by  early  indications  of  the  satisfaction  with 
4  which  our  appearance  was  hailed  on  shore.  First  our 
4  stately  ship  suddenly  burst  upon  the  astonished  gaze 
4  of  two  European  gentlemen  taking  their  evening  walk, 
4  who,  seeing  her  crowded  with  the  eager  faces  of  men 
'  ready  for  the  fray,  took  off  their  hats  and  cheered 
'  wildly ;  then  the  respectable  skipper  of  a  merchant- 
4  man  worked  himself  into  a  state  of  frenzy,  and  made 
4  us  a  long  speech,  which  we  could  not  hear,  but  the 
4  violence  of  his  gesticulations  left  us  in  little  doubt  as 
4  to  its  import ;  then  his  crew  took  up  the  cheer,  which 

1    Narrative  of  the  Earl  of  Elgin's  Mission,  i.  55. 


4  was  passed  en  at  intervals  until  the  thunder  of  our  68- 
4  pounders  drowned  every  other  sound;  shattered  the 
4  windows  of  sundry  of  the  'palaces; '  attracted  a  crowd 
4  of  spectators  to  the  Maidan,  and  brought  the  contents 
4  of  Fort  William  on  to  the  glacis. 

4  As  soon  as  the  smoke  cleared  away,  the  soldiers  of 
4  the  garrison  collected  there  sent  up  a  series  of  hearty 
'cheers;  a  moment  more  and  our  men  wrere  clustered 
4  like  ants  upon  the  rigging,  and,  in  the  energy  which 
4  they  threw  into  their  ringing  response,  they  pledged 
4  themselves  to  the  achievement  of  those  deeds  of  valour 
4  which  have  since  covered  the  Naval  Brigade  with  glory. 
4  After  the  fort  had  saluted,  Lord  Elgin  landed  amid  the 
4  cheers  of  the  crowd  assembled  at  the  ghaut  to  receive 
4  him,  and  proceeded  to  Government  House,  gratified  to 
4  learn,  not  merely  from  the  popular  demonstrations,  but 
4  from  Lord  Canning  himself,  that  though  happily  the 
4  physical  force  he  had  brought  with  him  was  not  re- 
4  quired  to  act  in  defence  of  the  city,  still  that  the  pre- 
4  sence  of  a  man  of  war  larger  than  any  former  ship  that 
4  ever  anchored  abreast  of  the  Maidan,  and  whose  guns 
4  commanded  the  city,  was  calculated  to  produce  upon 
4  both  the  European  and  native  population  a  most  whole - 
4  some  moral  effect,  more  especially  at  a  time  when  the 
•  near  approach  of  the  Mohurrum  had  created  in  men's 
4  minds  an  unusual  degree  of  apprehension  and  excite- 
4  merit.' 

Speaking  afterwards  of  this  scene,  Lord  Elgin  him- 
self said,  4 1  shall  never  forget  to  my  dying  day— 
4  for  the  hour  was  a  dark  one,  and  there  was  hardly  a 
4  countenance  in  Calcutta,  save  that  of  the  Governor- 
4  General,  Lord  Canning,  which  was  not  blanched  with 
4  fear — I  shall  never  forget  the  cheers  with  which  the 
4  u  Shannon  "  was  received  as  she  sailed  up  the  river, 
4  pouring  forth  her  salute  from  those  68-pounders 
4  which  the  gallant  and  lamented  Sir  William  Peel  sent 
4  up  to  Allahabad,  and  from  those  24-pounders  which, 

1857.  CALCUTTA.  199 

4  according    to    Lord    Clyde,    made    way    across    the 
country  in  a  manner  never  before  witnessed.' 

Calcutta. — August  \\th. — Here  I  am,  writing  to  you  from 
the  Governor-General's  palace  at  Calcutta !  Altogether  it  is 
one  of  the  strangest  of  the  peripeties  of  my  life.  ...  I  think 
my  visit  has  entirely  answered  as  regards  the  interests  of 
India.  I  have  every  reason  to  believe  that  it  has  had  an  Peel's 
excellent  effect  here.  I  have  agreed  to  give  up  the  f  Shannon,' 
in  order  that  Peel  and  his  men  may  be  formed  into  a  naval 
brigade,  and  march  with  some  of  their  great  guns  on  Delhi. 
Peel,  for  this  work,  is,  I  believe,  the  right  man  in  the  'right 
place,  and  I  expect  great  things  from  him.  He  is  delighted, 
and  Canning  and  Sir  P.  Grant  have  signified  in  strong  terms 
their  appreciation  of  the  sacrifice  I  am  making,  and  the  service 
I  am  rendering.  They  are  in  great  want  of  artillery,  and  no 
such  guns  as  those  of  the  (  Shannon '  are  in  their  possession. 
The  vessel  itself,  with  a  small  crew,  will  remain  in  the  river 
opposite  Calcutta,  able,  if  need  were,  to  knock  all  the  city  to 
bits.  I  shall  get  a  steamer  for  myself,  probably  one  of  the 
Peninsular  and  Oriental  Company's,  to  convey  me  to  Hong- 
kong, and  to  remain  with  me  till  I  am  better  suited.  Canning  Lord 
is  very  amiable,  but  I  do  not  see  much  of  him.  He  is  at  work 
from  five  or  six  in  the  morning  till  dinner-time.  No  human 
being  can,  in  a  climate  like  this,  and  in  a  situation  which  has 
so  few  delassements  as  that  of  Governor-General,  work  so 
constantly  without  impairing  the  energy  both  of  mind  and 
body,  after  a  time.  .  .  .  Neither  he  nor  Lady  C.  are  so  much 
oppressed  by  the  difficulties  in  which  they  find  themselves  as 
might  have  been  expected. 

August  21  st. — It  is  a  terrible  business,  however,  this  Treatment 
living  among  inferior  races.  I  have  seldom  from  man  or  ri0r  races. 
woman  since  I  came  to  the  East  heard  a  sentence  which  was 
reconcilable  with  the  hypothesis  that  Christianity  had  ever 
come  into  the  world.  Detestation,  contempt,  ferocity,  ven- 
geance, whether  Chinamen  or  Indians  be  the  object.  There 
are  some  three  or  four  hundred  servants  in  this  house.  When 
one  first  passes  by  their  salaaming  one  feels  a  little  awkward. 
But  the  feeling  soon  wears  off,  and  one  moves  among  them 
with  perfect  indifference,  treating  them,  not  as  dogs,  because 
in  that  case  one  would  whistle  to  them  and  pat  them,  but  as 
machines  with  which  one  can  have  no  communion  or  sympathy. 


Of  course  those  who  can  speak  the  language  are  somewhat 
more  en  rapport  with  the  natives,  but  very  slightly  so,  I  take 
it.  When  the  passions  of  fear  and  hatred  are  engrafted  on 
this  indifference,  the  result  is  frightful ;  an  absolute  callousness 
as  to  the  sufferings  of  the  objects  of  those  passions,  which 
must  be  witnessed  to  be  understood  and  believed. 

August  22nd.  -  -  tells  me  that  yesterday,  at  dinner, 
the  fact  that  Government  had  removed  some  commissioners 
who,  not  content  with  hanging  all  the  rebels  they  could  lay 
their  hands  on,  had  been  insulting  them  by  destroying  their 
caste,  telling  them  that  after  death  they  should  be  cast  to 
the  dogs  to  be  devoured,  &c.,  was  mentioned.  A  rev.  gentle- 
man could  not  understand  the  conduct  of  Government ; 
could  not  see  that  there  was  any  impropriety  in  torturing 
men's  souls ;  seemed  to  think  that  a  good  deal  might  be  said  in 
favour  of  bodily  torture  as  well !  These  are  your  teachers,  O 
Israel !  Imagine  what  the  pupils  become  under  such  leading  ! 
Fears  for  August  26th. — The  great  subject  of  anxiety  here  now 
°w*  is  Lucknow,  where  a  small  party  of  soldiers,  with  some  two 
hundred  women  and  an  equal  number  of  children,  are  be- 
leaguered by  a  rebel  force  of  15,000.  The  attempts  hitherto 
made  to  relieve  them  have  failed  ;  and  General  Havelock,  who 
commands,  says  he  can  do  nothing  unless  he  gets  the  5th  and 
90th  Regiments,  the  two  I  sent  from  Singapore  on  my  own 
responsibility.  The  men  of  the  '  Pearl '  and  '  Shannon '  and 
the  marines  are  guarding  Calcutta,  or  on  their  way  up  to  Alla- 
habad, so  that  it  is  impossible  to  say  what  would  have  become 
of  Bengal  if  these  reinforcements  had  not  come. 

August  '30th. — The  mail  from  England  has  arrived.  No 
letters,  of  course,  for  me.  I  gather  from  the  newspapers  and 
Canning's  letters  that  some  troops,  though  only  to  a  small 
extent,  I  fear,  are  to  be  sent  to  Hong-kong,  to  replace  those 
which  have  been  diverted  to  India.  From  Palmerston's  speeches 
I  gather  that  he  adheres  to  the  policy  of  my  first  visiting  the 
North,  and  making  amicable  overtures  ;  and,  secondly,  taking 
Canton,  if  these  overtures  fail.  I  believe  I  have  adopted  the 
only  mode  of  carrying  out  that  policy.  It  is  rather  perplexing, 
however,  and  sometimes  a  little  amusing,  to  be  working  at  such 
a  distance  from  head-quarters,  as  one  never  knows  what  is 
thought  of  one's  proceedings  until  it  is  so  much  too  late  toHurn 
to  account  the  criticisms  passed  upon  them. 

L857.  RETURN   TO   CHINA.  201 

There  remained  now  nothing  to  keep  him  longer  at  Return  to 
Calcutta ;  a  body  of  troops  was  on  its  way  to  Hong- 
:ong,  to  take  the  place  of  those  that  had  been  diverted 
to  India,  and  the  end  of  September  was  the  time  at 
which   he   had  arranged  to  meet   Baron  Gros  in  the 
China  seas.     On  the  3rd  of  September,  therefore,  he 
turned   his    face    once  more  eastward,  to  resume  the 
>roper  duties  of  his  mission. 

Steamer  'AvaS — September  10th. — I  have  had  a  very  bad  Fever, 
time  of  it  since  I  finished  my  last  letter  on  my  way  down  the 
Hooghly.  Probably  it  may  have  been  something  of  the  Calcutta 
fever  brought  with  me.  .  .  .  But  on  the  second  night  after  our 
departure,  it  came  on  to  blow  hard  towards  morning.  I  was  in 
my  cot  on  the  windward  side.  First,  I  got  rather  a  chill,  and 
then  the  ports  were  shut,  leaving  me  very  hot.  I  remained 
all  day  in  a  state  of  feverish  lethargy,  unable  to  rise,  and  con- 
stantly falling  off  into  dreamy  dozes  ;  kaleidoscopes,  with  the 
ugliest  sides  of  everything  perpetually  twirling  before  my  eyes. 
I  panted  so  for  air  that  they  opened  my  ports  towards  evening 
as  an  experiment.  It  turned  out  better  than  might  have  been 
expected.  A  sea  washed  in,  and  filled  my  cot  half  full  of  water, 
which  decided  me  on  rising.  No  gentler  hint  would  have 
mastered  my  lethargy.  After  I  got  on  deck,  as  you  may 
imagine,  it  was  about  as  difficult,  or  rather  more  so,  to  over- 
come the  vis  inertice  which  fixed  me  there.  So  a  bed  was  made 
for  me  under  the  awning.  1  remained  on  deck  for  four  nights ; 
the  fourth,  in  a  cot  slung  up  to  the  boom;  and  though  I  slept 
little,  it  was  cool.  Last  night  I  came  down  to  the  cabin  again. 
I  have  taken  the  turn,  and  am  on  the  mend,  though  I  do  not 
yet  feel  the  least  inclination  for  food,  and  my  nerves  are  so 
shaky  that  I  can  hardly  write.  That  little  pretty  book  l  of 
Guizot's  which  you  sent  me,  I  have  been  trying  to  read,  but  I 
find  that  it  is  too  touching  for  me,  and  I  have  been  obliged  to 
lay  it  aside. 

September  l\th.  —  I  am  now  at  Singapore  again,  which  is  my 
kind  of  oasis  in  this  desert  of  the  East ;  the  only  place  where  I 
have  felt  well  or  comfortable,  and  where  there  has  been  a  sort 
of  cordiality  in  the  people,  which  makes  one  feel  somewhat  at 

1  Life  of  Lady  Rachel  Russell. 


home.  I  shall  stay  here  two  days,  to  gain  a  little  strength 
before  plunging  again  into  the  sea. 

Hong-Jwng. —  September  20th. — I  did  not  attempt  to  write  on 
my  way  from  Singapore  to  this  place,  because,  though  we  were 
much  favoured  by  the  weather  (as  this  is  the  worst  month  in 
the  China  seas  and  the  most  subject  to  typhoons),  the  motion 
of  the  screw  in  the  ' Ava '  is  so  bad,  that  it  is  almost  impossible 
to  write  when  she  is  going  at  full  speed.  However,  I  may  now 
tell  you  that  we  made  out  our  voyage  in  six  days  of  beautiful 
weather,  and  that  I  have  gone  on  gradually  recovering  my 
health,  which  I  lost  between  Calcutta  and  Singapore.  I  believe 
I  do  not  look  quite  as  blooming  as  usual ;  but  it  is  of  no  use 
my  claiming  sympathy  on  this  score,  for,  as  the  Bishop  of 
Labuan  appears  to  have  said,  I  always  have  a  more  florid 
appearance  than  most  people,  and  never  therefore  get  credit  for 
being  ill,  however  ill  I  may  feel.  I  found  two  mails  from  home. 
'  '  *  ^ne  G°vernment  approves  of  my  having  sent  my  troops  to 
India,  and  Clarendon's  letter  seems  to  imply  that  they  are  not 
quite  insensible  to  the  difficulties  of  my  position.  ...  As  it  is, 
I  now  find  myself  in  a  very  puzzling  position.  If  I  go  to  the 
North  I  shall  lose  prestige,  and  perhaps  also  time  ;  it  is  even 
possible  that- 1  may  force  the  Emperor  to  declare  himself  against 
us,  and  to  direct  hostilities  against  us  at  the  northern  ports, 
where  hitherto  we  have  been  trading  in  peace.  On  the  other 
hand,  if  I  do  not  go  to  the  North,  and  make  pacific  overtures  to 
the  Emperor,  I  shall  go  dead  against  my  instructions,  and 
against  the  policy  which  Palmerston  has  over  and  over  again 
told  Parliament  I  am  to  pursue. 

Hong-hong. —  September  25th. — I  used  to  dislike  to  begin 
writing  a  letter,  when  I  thought  I  should  receive  one  from 
my  correspondent  before  it  was  finished ;  but  I  have  got 
over  all  these  scruples  now.  Our  correspondence  is  kept  up 
in  a  kind  of  constant  flow,  and  our  letters  so  cross  each  other, 
that  we  hardly  know  where  one  is  begun  or  ended.  Therefore, 
although  1  sent  off  one  this  forenoon,  and  although  I  may 
calculate  on  hearing  from  you  again  before  this  is  despatched, 
I  feel  that  it  is  quite  natural  to  take  up  my  pen,  and  to  have 
some  talk  with  you  this  evening  before  I  retire  to  my  cot.  I 
have  been  dining  with  the  Admiral  quietly,  at  3  P.M.,  and 
*  went  on  sllore  witn  nim  afterwards  to  take  a  walk.  We 
strolled  through  the  Chinese  part  of  the  town,  crowded  with 

1857.  CAPRICES   OF   CLIMATE.  203 

Chinese  all  returning  from  their  work,,  and  looking  good- 
humoured  as  usual.  The  town  is  more  extensive  than  I  had 
supposed  it  to  be ;  but  it  was  close  and  hot,  and  I  was  rather 
glad  when  we  got  into  our  boat  again  to  pull  off  to  our  ship, 
which  is  lying  about  2-J  miles  from  the  shore.  It  was  calm 
and  cool  on  the  water ;  and  after  reaching  my  ship,  I  have 
sat  down  to  my  writing  desk,  having  placed  one  of  the  ship's 
attendants  (a  disbanded  sepoy,  I  believe)  at  the  punkah  which 
has  lately  been  fitted  up  in  my  cabin.  It  is  wonderful  what  a 
comfort  these  punkahs  are !  I  was  suffocated  with  heat  before 
my  sepoy  began  to  pull,  and  every  now  and  then  I  have  to 
halloo  to  him  when  he  seems  disposed  to  take  a  nap.  .  .  . 

October  1st. — What  a  climate  !  after  raining  cats  and  dogs  for  Caprices 
forty-eight  hours  incessantly,  it  took  to  blowing  at  about  twelve  of  climate> 
last  night,  rain  still  as  heavy  as  ever.  Our  captain,  who  is  a 
man  of  energy,  apprehending  that  he  might  run  ashore  or  foul 
of  some  ship,  got  up  steam  immediately,  and  set  to  work  to 
perform  the  goose  step  at  anchor  in  the  harbour.  You  may 
imagine  the  row, — wind  blowing,  rain  splashing,  ropes  hauled, 
spars  cracking,  everybody  hallooing : — (  A  stroke  a-head  !  ease 
her  !  faster  !  stop  her  ! '  and  other  variations  of  the  same  tune. 
All  this  immediately  over  my  head  !  After  expending  the  con- 
ventional number  of  hours  in  my  cot,  in  the  operation  of  what 
is  facetiously  called  sleeping,  I  mounted  on  deck  at  about  5 
A.M.  ...  I  wish  I  could  send  you  a  sketch  of  that  gloomy  hill 
at  the  foot  of  which  Victoria  lies,  as  it  loomed  sullenly  in 
the  dusky  morning,  its  crest  wreathed  with  clouds,  and  its 
cheeks  wrinkled  by  white  lines  that  marked  the  track  of  the 
descending  torrents.  It  was  still  blowing  and  raining  as  hard 
as  ever,  but  I  took  my  two  hours'  exercise  notwithstanding, 
clad  in  Mackintosh.  Frederick  and  Oliphant,  whp  went  on 
shore  the  day  before  yesterday  to  dine  with  Sir  J.  Bowring, 
have  not  yet  returned. 

Seven  P.M. — The  weather  cleared  about  noon.  I  remained  After  the 
in  my  cabin  as  usual  till  after  five,  when  I  ordered  my  boat 
and  went  on  shore.  There  were  signs  of  the  night's  work 
here  and  there.  Masts  of  junks  sticking  out  of  the  water,  and 
on  land  verandahs  mutilated,  &c.  Loch  accompanied  me,  and 
we  walked  up  the  hill  to  a  road  which  runs  above  the  town. 
The  prospect  was  magnificent — Victoria  below  us,  running  down 
the  steep  bank  to  the  water's  edge  ;  beyond,  the  bay,  crowded 



CH.  VII. 




ith  ships  and  junks,  and  closed  on  the  opposite  side  by  a  semi- 
circle of  hills,  bold,  rugged,  and  bare,  and  glowing  in  the  bright 
sunset.  .  .  .  When  we  got  beyond  the  town,  the  hill  along 
which  we  were  walking  began  to  remind  me  of  some  of  the 
scenery  in  the  Highlands— steep  and  treeless,  the  water  gushing 
out  at  every  step  among  the  huge  granite  boulders,  and  dashing 
with  a  merry  noise  across  our  path.  After  somewhat  more  than 
an  hour's  walk  we  turned  back,  and  began  to  descend  a  long 
and  precipitous  path,  or  rather  street,  for  there  were  houses  on 
either  side,  in  search  of  our  boat.  By  the  time  we  had  embarked 
the  tints  of  the  sunset  had  vanished,  a  moon  nearly  full  rode 
undisputed  mistress  in  the  cloudless  sky,  and  we  cut  our  way 
to  our  ship  through  the  ripple  that  was  dancing  and  sparkling 
in  her  beams. 

Hong-hong. —  October  8th. — On  the  6th,  I  went  to  the  an- 
chorage of  the  French  fleet,  about  twelve  miles  off.  On  our 
way  back  we  made  the  tour  of  the  island.  Every  spot  at  the 
foot  of  the  hills  on  which  anything  will  grow  is  cultivated  by 
the  industrious  Chinese,  whose  chief  occupation  in  these  parts 
seems,  however,  to  be  fishing.  Last  evening  I  dined  with  our 
own  admiral.  An  opium-ship  from  India  had  just  arrived,  so 
we  had  a  plentiful  crop  of  topics  of  conversation.  The  news 
from  India  is  rather  better.  The  whole  of  Bengal  was  de- 
pendent not  only  on  the  China  force,  but  on  that  portion  of  it 
which  I  took  or  sent  them  on  my  own  responsibility.  The 
5th  and  90th  regiments  are  marching  to  the  relief  of  Lucknow. 
The  crews  of  the  '  Shannon  '  and  '  Pearl '  are  protecting  other 
disturbed  districts,  and  the  marines  garrisoning  Calcutta.  .  .  . 
It  cannot  therefore  be  said  that  I  have  not  done  Canning  a 
good  turn.  I  think,  however,  that  there  is  a  disposition,  both 
in  Calcutta  and  in  England,  to  underrate  our  needs  in  China, 
and  I  am  disposed  to  write  to  Canning  a  despatch  which  will 
bring  this  point  out.  ...  If  we  take  Canton  by  naval  means 
alone,  we  shall  probably  not  be  able  to  hold  the  city ;  in  which 
case  we  shall  probably  occasion  a  great  deal  of  massacre  and 
bloodshed,  without  influencing  in  the  slightest  degree  the 
Court  of  Pekin. 

October  9th. — I  do  not  think  that  the  naval  actions  here  have 
really  done  anything  towards  solving  our  questions,  and  per- 
haps they  may  have  been  injurious,  in  so  far  as  they  have 
enabled  the  Government  and  the  Press  to  take  up  the  tone 

1857.  DEATH   OF  HIS   ELDEST   SISTER.  205 

that  we  could  settle  our  affairs  without  troops.  All  these 
partial  measures  increase  the  confidence  of  the  Chinese  in  them- 
selves, and  confirm  them  in  the  opinion  that  we  cannot  meet 
them  on  land.  They  have  never  denied  our  superiority  by  sea. 
October  \3th. — No  steamer  from  England  yet.  I  have  just 
despatched  letters  to  Canning,  in  the  sense  I  have  already 
explained  to  you.  .  .  .  General  Ashhurnham's  position  is  a 
yery  cruel  one, — at  the  head  of  a  whole  lot  of  doctors  and 
staff-officers  of  all  kinds,  without  any  troops.  The  enormous 
amount  of  supplies  sent  out  passes  belief.  Oceans  of  porter, 
soda-water,  wine  of  all  sorts,  and  delicacies  that  I  never  even 
heard  of,  for  the  hospitals.  /  am  told,  even  tea  and  sugar,  I 
but  that  may  be  a  calumny.  This  is  the  reaction,  after  the  ' 
economies  practised  in  the  Crimea,  and  will  be  persevered  in,  I 
suppose,  till  Parliament  gets  tired  of  paying,  and  then  we 
shall  have  counteraction  the  other  way. 

On  the  16th  of  October  the  French  ambassador 
reached  Hong-kong,  having  been  delayed  by  the  break- 
ing down  of  an  engine,  which  made  it  necessary  for  him 
to  stay  at  Singapore  to  refit.  The  relations  of  the  two 
ambassadors,  at  first  somewhat  distant  and  diplomatic, 
soon  ripened  into  mutual  feelings  of  cordial  regard. 

October  18th. — The  instructions  brought  by   the  last  mail  Arrival  of 
give  me  much  greater  latitude  of  action ;  in  fact,  untie  my  Baron 
hands  altogether.     I  hope  I  shall  get  Baron  Gros  to  go  with 
me ;  but  if  not,  I  shall  go  at  Canton  alone.     The  Admiral  is 
quite  ready  for  the  attempt,  as  soon  as  his  marines  arrive. 

October  30th. — How  little  was  I  prepared  for  the  sad  intelli-  A  sister's 
gence  brought  to  me  by  your  last ! T  How  constantly  we  shall  death- 
all  feel  the  absence  of  that  good  genius ! — that  Providence 
always  on  the  watch  to  soothe  the  wretched  and  to  console  the 
afflicted.  I  had  never  thought  of  her  early  removal  by  death  ; 
and  yet  one  ought  to  have  done  so,  for  she  complained  much 
of  suffering  last  year,  and  all  who  knew  her  well  must  have 
felt  that  to  make  her  complain  her  sufferings  must  have  been 
great.  She  is  gone ;  and  she  will  leave  behind  her  a  blank  in 
many  existences.  .  .  .  Many  years  ago  we  were  much  together. 
She  was  then  in  the  full  vigour  of  her  faculties.  ...  I  had 

1  The  death  of  his  elder  sister,  Lady  Matilda  Maxwell. 

206  FIRST   MISSION   TO   CHINA.  Cn.  VII. 

ample  opportunity  then  of  appreciating  the  remarkable  union 
of  heart  and  head  and  soul  which  her  character  presented. 
Many  of  her  letters  written  in  those  days  were  of  rare  ex- 
cellence. ...  I  feel  for  you. 

October  31st.— I  shall  hardly  recognise  Scotland  without 
her,  so  much  did  she,  in  her  unobtrusive  and  quiet  way,  make 
herself  the  point  to  which,  in  all  difficulties  and  joys,  one 
looked.  .  .  .  Poor  Maxwell  has  the  satisfaction  of  knowing 
that  all  that  was  great  and  lovable  in  her  flourished  under  his 
protection  and  with  his  sympathy.  Perhaps  that  is  the  best 
consolation  which  a  person  bereaved  as  he  is  can  enjoy.  It  is 
not  a  consolation  which  will  arrest  his  progress  along  the  path 
which  she  has  trodden  before,  but  it  is  one  which  will  strew  it 
with  flowers.  .  .  .  Already,  when  this  letter  reaches  you,  the 
green  weeds  will  have  begun  to  creep  over  the  new-made 
grave,  and  the  crust  of  habit  to  cover  wounds  which  at  first 
bled  most  freely.  It  is  also  a  soothing  reflection  that  hers  was 
a  life  of  which  death  is  rather  the  crown  than  the  close  ;  so 
that  it  will  not  be  in  gloom,  but  in  the  soft  sunset  light  of 
memory  that  they  who  have  been  wont  to  walk  with  her,  and 
are  now  deprived  of  her  companionship,  will  have  henceforward 
to  tread  their  weary  way.  I  see  in  that  sunset  light  the  days 
when  we  were  much  together — when  she  used  to  call  herself 
my  wife.  In  those  days  her  nervous  system  was  stronger  than 
it  was  when  you  became  acquainted  with  her.  Her  soul  spoke 
through  more  obedient  organs.  Nothing  could  exceed  the 
eloquence  and  beauty  of  her  letters  in  those  days,  when 
written  under  the  influence  of  strong  feeling.  She  is  gone.  I 
do  not  expect  ever  to  see  her  like  again. 

November  1st. — Poor  Balgonie,  too.  It  is  another  loss  ; 
very  sad,  though  different  in  its  character.  When  I  saw  him 
at  Malta,  I  had  not  a  conception  that  he  would  last  so  long. 
.  .  .  On  November  1st  IL  am  reading  your  thoughts  of  Septem- 
ber 1st.  How  far  apart  this  proves  us  to  be  !  ...  I  sympathise 
deeply  in  all  those  feelings.  ...  To  whatever  side  one  looks 
there  is  the  sad  blank  effected  .by  her  removal ;  even  in  my 
public  interests,  I  cannot  say  how  much,  since  I  returned 
home,  I  owed  to  her  thoughtfulness  and  affection.  .  .  .  Cut  off 
as  we  are  here  at  present  from  all  immediate  contact  with 
home  interests,  it  is  difficult  to  realise  her  removal  and  its 
consequences  to  the  full.  It  is  a  stunning  blow  from  which 

HONG-KONG.  207 

>ne  recovers  gradually  to  a  consciousness  of  a  great  and  un- 
lefined  loss.     God  bless  you!  .  .   .  and, grant  that  you  may 
itire  her  inexpressible  comfort. 
November  8th. — I  have  been  absent  for  four  days  on  a  tour.  Visit  to 


I  liked  Macao,  because  there  is  some  appearance  about 
it  of  a  history , — convents  and  churches,  the  garden  of  Camoens, 
&c.     The  Portuguese  have  been  in  China  about  three  hundred 
rears.    Hong-kong  was  a  barren  rock  fifteen  years  ago.    Macao 

Catholic,  Hong-kong  Protestant.    So  these  causes  combined 
ve  the  former  a  wonderful  superiority  in  all  that  is  antique 
ind  monumental. 

November  14th. — I  have  received  your  letters  to  September 
!4th.  .  .  .  The  Government  approve  entirely  of  my  move  to 
Calcutta,  and  Lord  Clarendon  writes  very  cordially  on  the 

November  15th. — I  have  seen  the  Russian  Plenipotentiary. 
.  .  He  has  been  at  Kiachta  and  the  mouth  of  the  Peiho, 
jking  for  admission  to  Pekin,  and  got  considerably  snubbed 
at  both  places,  as  I  should  have  been  if  I  had  gone  there.  It 
will  devolve  on  me,  I  apprehend,  to  administer  the  return, 
which  is  not,  I  think,  a  bad  arrangement  for  British  prestige 
in  the  East. 

Sfeamer  (  Ava?  Hong-kong. — November  17 th. — My  serious  Beginning 
work  is  about  to  begin.  I  must  draw  up  a  challenge  for  of  serious 
Yeh,  which  is  a  delicate  matter.  Gros  showed  me  a  projet 
de  note  when  I  called  on  him  some  days  ago.  It  is  very  long, 
and  very  well  written.  The  fact  is,  that  he  has  a  much  better 
case  of  quarrel  than  we  ;  at  least  one  that  lends  itself  much 
better  to  rhetoric.  An  opium-ship  came  in  from  Calcutta  ' 
yesterday.  It  brought  me  nothing  from  Canning.  It  is  clear, 
however,  that  things  are  getting  better  with  him.  I  think  it 
probable  that  my  despatch  anticipating  a  favourable  turn  of 
affairs  there,  and  founding  on  that  anticipation  a  demand  for 
reinforcements,  will  reach  England  at  the  very  time  when 
the  news  from  India  justifying  that  anticipation  will  be  re- 
ceived. .  .  .  The  Government  and  public  in  England  would 
not  believe  there  was  any  danger  in  India  for  a  long  time,  and 
consequently  allowed  the  season  for  precautionary  measures  to 
pass  by,  and  then  made  up  for  their  apathy  by  the  most  ex- 
aggerated apprehensions.  My  mind  has  been  more  tranquil, 
for  it  has  not  presented  these  phases.  As  soon  as  I  heard  of 


Canning's  difficulties,  I  determined  to  do  what  I  could  for 
him ;  but  it  never  occurred  to  me  that  we  were  to  act  as  if 
the  game  was  up  witft  us  in  the  East. 

How  to  The   secret   of  governing   a   democracy   is   understood   by 

govern  a  men  jn  pOwer  at  present.  Never  interfere  to  check  an  evil 
rSCy  until  it  has  attained  such  proportions  that  all  the  world  see 
plainly  the  necessities  of  the  case.  You  will  then  get  any 
amount  of  moral  and  material  support  that  you  require ;  but 
if  you  interfere  at  an  earlier  period,  you  will  get  neither 
thanks  nor  assistance  !  I  am  not  at  all  sure  but  that  the  time 
is  approaching  when  foresight  will  be  a  positive  disqualification 
in  a  statesman.  But  to  return  to  our  own  matters.  The 
Government  and  public  are  thinking  of  nothing  but  India  at 
present.  It  does  not  however  follow,  that  quite  as  strong  a  feel- 
ing might  not  be  got  up  for  China  in  a  few  months.  If  we  met 
with  anything  like  disaster  here,  that  would  certainly  be  the  case. 
De?crip-  Head- Quarters  House,  Hong-kong. — November  22nd.  —  I 

tion  of  wisn  yOU  couid  take  wings  and  join  me  here,  if  it  were  even 
kong.  for  a  few  hours.  We  should  first  wander  through  these 
spacious  apartments.  We  should  then  stroll  out  on  the 
verandah,  or  along  the  path  of  the  little  terrace  garden  which 
General  Ashburnham  has  surrounded  with  a  defensive  wall,  and 
from  thence  I  should  point  out  to  you  the  harbour,  bright  as  a 
flower-bed  with  the  flags  of  many  nations,  the  jutting  promon- 
tory of  Kowloon,  and  the  barrier  of  bleak  and  jagged  hills  that 
bounds  the  prospect.  A  little  later,  when  the  sun  began  to 
sink,  and  the  long  shadows  to  fall  from  the  mountain's  side, 
we  should  set  forth  for  a  walk  along  a  level  pathway  of  about 
a  quarter  of  a  mile  long,  which  is  cut  in  its  flank,  and  connects 
with  this  garden,  and  from  thence  we  should  watch  this  same 
circle  of  hills,  now  turned  into  a  garland,  and  glowing  in  the 
sunset  lights,  crimson  and  purple,  and  blue  and  green,  and 
colours  for  which  a  name  has  not  yet  been  found,  as  they 
successively  lit  upon  them.  Perhaps  we  should  be  tempted  to 
wait  (and  it  would  not  be  long  to  wait,  for  the  night  follows  in 
these  regions  very  closely  on  the  heels  of  day),  until,  on  these 
self-same  hills,  then  gloomy  and  dark  and  sullen,  tens  of 
thousands  of  bright  and  silent  stars  were  looking  down  calmly 
from  heaven. 

Macao. — December  2nd. — Baron  Gros  and  I  have  been 
settling  our  plans  of  proceeding,  which  we  are  conducting  with 
a  most  cordial  entente.  ...  As  he  is  well  versed  in  all  the 


)rms  and  usages  of  diplomacy,  he  is  very  useful  to  me  in  such 
>ints.  ...   I  have  been  living  here  in  the  house  of  Mr.  Dent, 
me  of  the  merchant  princes  of  China.     He  is  very  obliging, 
id  I  have  remained  at  his  request  a  day  longer  than  I  in- 
mded.     I  return,  however,  to-day.     I  like  Macao  with  its  air 
>f  antiquity,  in  some  respects  almost  of  decadence.     It  is  more 
iteresting  than  Hong-kong,  which  has  only   existed  fifteen 
rears,  and  is  as  go-a-head  and  upstart  and  staring  as  (  one  of 
>ur  cities,'  as  my  American  friend  informed  me  a  few  days  ago. 
Hong-kong. — December  5th. — When  I  went  out  to  walk  with 
Hiphant,  I  was  informed  by  a  person  I  met  in  a  very  public 
ilk  just  out  of  the  town,  that  a  man  had  been  robbed  very 
lear  where  we  were.    I  met  the  person  immediately  afterwards. 
[e  was  rather  a  mesquin- looking  Portuguese,  and  he  said  that 
iree  Chinamen  had  rushed  upon  him,  knocked  him  down,  thrown 
quantity  of  sand  into  his  eyes,  and  carried  off  his  watch.     This 
>rt  of  affair  is  not  uncommon.     I  have  bought  a  revolver,  and 
am  beginning  to  practise  pistol -shooting. 

December  9th. — Baron  Gros  came  here  on  Monday.  We  fPrepara- 
have  been  busy,  and  all  our  plans  are  settled.  I  sent  up  this  < 
evening  to  the  Admiral  my  letter  to  Yeh,  which  is  to  be  de-  j 
livered  on  Saturday  the  12th.  He  is  to  have  ten  days  to  think 
over  it,  and  if  at  the  end  of  that  time  he  does  not  give  in,  the 
city  will  be  taken.  We  are  in  for  it  now.  I  have  hardly 
alluded  in  my  ultimatum  to  that  wretched  question  of  the 
f  Arrow,'  which  is  a  scandal  to  us,  and  is  so  considered,  I  have 
reason  to  know,  by  all  except  the  few  who  are  personally 
compromised.  I  have  made  as  strong  a  case  as  I  can  on  gene- 
ral grounds  against  Yeh,  and  my  demands  are  most  moderate. 
If  he  refuses  to  accede  to  them,  which  he  probably  will,  this 
will,  I  hope,  put  us  in  the  right  when  we  proceed  to  extreme  ;' 
measures.  The  diplomatic  position  is  excellent.  The  Russian 
has  had  a  rebuff  at  the  mouth  of  the  Peiho  ;  the  American 
at  the  hands  of  Yeh.  The  Frenchman  gives  us  a  most  valu- 
able moral  support  by  saying  that  he  too  has  a  sufficient  ground 
of  quarrel  with  Yeh.  We  stand  towering  above  all,  using 
calm  and  dignified  language,  moderate  in  our  demands,  but 
resolute  in  enforcing  them.  If  such  had  been  our  attitude 
from  the  beginning  of  this  controversy  it  would  have  been  well. 
However,  we  cannot  look  back ;  we  must  do  for  the  bestj 
and  trust  in  Providence  to  carry  us  through  our  difficulties. 








improved    ON   the    same    day  on  which   the   ultimatum  of  the 
prospects.    Enyoyg   wag  cieliverea   to    Yeh,  i.e.  on   the    12th  of 

December,  1857,  the  glad  news  reached  Lord  Elgin  that 
Lucknow  had  been  relieved:  the  more  welcome  to' 
him  as  carrying  with  it  the  promise  of  speedy  rein- 
forcement to  himself,  and  deliverance  from  a  situation 
of  extreme  difficulty  and  embarrassment.  4  Few  people,7 
he  might  well  say,  4  had  ever  been  in  a  position  which  re- 
4  quired  greater  tact — four  Ambassadors,  two  Admirals, 
•  4  a  General,  and  a  Consul-general;  and,  notwithstanding 
*  this  luxuriance  of  colleagues,  no  sufficient  force.'  And 

9  what  he  felt  most  in  the  insufficiency  of  the  force  was 

not  the  irksomeness  of  delay,  still  less  any  anxiety  as  to 
the  success  of  his  arms.  c  My  greatest  difficulty/  he 
wrote,  '  arises  from  my  fear  that  we  shall  be  led  to 
c  attack  Canton  before  we  have  all  our  force,  and  led 
1  therefore  to  destroy,  if  there  is  any  resistance,  both  life 
4  and  property  to  a  greater  extent  than  would  otherwise 
4  be  necessary.'  The  prospects  of  immediate  reinforce- 
ments from  India  diminished  his  fears  on  this  score,  and 
sent  him  forward  with  a  better  hope  of  bringing  the 
painful  situation  to  a  speedy  and  easy  close. 

Changed  H.  M.  S.  '  Furious?  Canton  River. — December  17 th. — You 
see  from  my  date  that  I  am  again  in  a  new  lodging.  It  pro- 
mises to  be,  I  think,  more  agreeable  than  any  of  our  previous 

1857.  IMPROVED   PROSPECTS.  211 

marine  residences.  We  have  paddles  instead  of  a  screw.  Then 
the  captain  has  not  only  given  up  to  me  all  the  stern  accommo- 
dation, but  he  has  also  done  everything  in  his  power  to  make 
the  place  comfortable.  .  .  .  He  is  the  Sherard  Osborn  of 
Arctic  regions  notoriety.  I  arn  on  my  way  to  join  Gros,  in 
order  to  decide  on  our  future  course  of  action.  I  mentioned 
yesterday  that  Honan  was  occupied,  and  that  I  had  received  a 
letter  from  Yeh,  which  must,  I  suppose,  be  considered  a  re- 
fusal. This  was  the  fair  side  of  the  medal.  The  reverse  was 
an  ugly  quarrel  up  the  river,  which  ended  in  the  loss  of  the 
lives  of  some  sailors  and  the  destruction  of  a  village, — a 
quarrel  for  which  our  people  were,  I  suspect,  to  some  extent 
responsible.  I  fear  that,  under  cover  of  the  blockade  instituted 
by  the  Admiral,  great  abuses  have  taken  place.  ...  It  makes 
one  very  indignant,  but  unfortunately  it  is  very  difficult  to 
bring  the  matter  home  to  the  culprits.  All  this,  however,  makes 
it  most  important  to  bring  the  situation  to  a  close  as  soon  as 
possible.  It  is  clear  that  there  will  be  no  peace  till  the  two 
parties  fight  it  out.  The  Chinese  do  not  want  to  fight,  but 
they  will  not  accept  the  position  relatively  to  the  strangers 
under  which  alone  strangers  will  consent  to  live  with  them, 
till  the  strength  of  the  two  parties  has  been  tested  by  fighting. 
The  English  do  want  to  fight. 

December  18th. — This  does  not  promise  to  be  a  lively  sojourn. 
We  are  anchored  at  present  at  a  point  where  the  river  forks 
into  the  Whampoa  and  Blenheim  reaches.  We  have  the  Blen- 
heim reach,  and  my  suite  wish  me  to  go  up  it  to  the  Macao 
Fort,  from  which  they  think  they  would  have  a  good  view  of 
what  goes  on  when  the  city  is  attacked.  I  wish,  however,  to 
be  with  Gros,  and  he  will  go  up  the  Whampoa  reach  as  far 
as  his  great  lumbering  ship  will  go.  Meanwhile  we  are  here 
confined  to  our  ships,  as  it  would  not  of  course  do  for  me  to  go 
on  shore  to  be  caught.  Poor  Yeh  would  think  me  worth  having 
at  present.  What  will  he  do  ?  His  answer  is  very  weak,  and  Yeh's 
reads  as  if  the  writer  was  at  his  wits'  end  ;  but  with  that  sort  of  rep  y' 
stupid  Chinese  policy  which  consists  in  never  yielding  anything, 
he  exposes  himself  to  the  worst  consequences  without  making 
any  preparations  (so  far  as  we  can  see)  for  resistance.  Among 
other  things  in  his  hetter  he  quotes  a  long  extract  from  a  Hong- 
kong paper  describing  Sir  G.  Bonham's  investiture  as  K.C.B., 
and  advises  me  to  imitate  him  for  my  own  interest,  rather  than 

p  2 


Sir  J.  Davis,  who  was  recalled.  Davis,  says  Yeh,  insisted  on 
getting  into  the  city,  and  Bonham  gave  up  this  demand.  Hence 
his  advice  to  me.  All  through  the  letter  is  sheer  twaddle. 
Ai?Cante  December  22nd.—  On  the  afternoon  of  the  20th,  I  got  into 
a  gunboat  with  Commodore  Elliot,  and  went  a  short  way  up 
towards  the  barrier  forts,  which  were  last  winter  destroyed  by 
the  Americans.  When  we  reached  this  point,  all  was  so  quiet 
that  we  determined  to  go  on,  and  we  actually  steamed  past  the 
city  of  Canton,  along  the  whole  front,  within  pistol-shot  of  the 
town.  /"A  line  of  English  men-of-war  are  now  anchored  there 
in  front  of  the  town.  I  never  felt  so  ashamed  of  myself  in  my 
life,  and  Elliot  remarked  that  the  trip  seemed  to  have  made  me 
sad.  There  we  were,  accumulating  the  means  of  destruction 
under  the  very  eyes,  and  within  the  reach,  of  a  population  of 
about  1,000,000  people,  against  whom  these  means  of  de- 
struction were  to  be  employed  I  (  Yes,'  I  said  to  Elliot,  '  I  am 
'  sad,  because  when  I  look  at  that  town,  I  feel  that  I  am  earning 
(  for  myself  a  place  in  the  Litany,  immediately  after  "  plague, 
4  "  pestilence,  and  famine." '  I  believe  however  that,  as  far  as 
I  am  concerned,  it  was  impossible  for  me  to  do  otherwise  than 
as  I  have  done.  I  could  not  have  abandoned  the  demand  to 
enter  the  city  after  what  happened  last  winter,  without  com- 
promising our  position  in  China  altogether,  and  opening  the 
way  to  calamities  even  greater  than  those  now  before  us.  I 
made  my  demands  on  Yeh  as  moderate  as  I  could,  so  as  to  give 
him  a  chance  of  accepting ;  although,  if  he  had  accepted,  I 
knew  that  I  should  have  brought  on  my  head  the  imprecations 
both  of  the  navy  and  army  and  of  the  civilians,  the  time 
being  given  by  the  missionaries  and  the  women.  #  And  now 
Yeh  having  refused,  I'  shall  do  whatever  I  can  possibly  do  to 
secure  the  adoption  of  plans  of  attack,  &c.,  which  will  lead  to 
the  least  destruction  of  life  and  property.  .  .  .  The  weather 
is  charming ;  the  thermometer  about  60°  in  the  shade  in  the 
morning;  the  sun  powerful,  and  the  atmosphere  beautifully 
clear.  When  we  steamed  up  to  Canton,  and  saw  the  rich 
alluvial  banks  covered  with  the  luxuriant  evidences  of  un- 
rivalled industry  and  natural  fertility  combined  ;  beyond  them, 
barren  uplands,  sprinkled  with  a  soil  of  a  reddish  tint,  which 
gave  them  the  appearance  of  heather  slopes  in  the  Highlands ; 
and  beyond  these  again,  the  white  cloud  mountain  range, 
standing  out  bold  and  blue  in  the  clear  sunshine,— I  thought 

1857.  BOMBARDMENT   OF   CANTON.  213 

bitterly  of  those  who,  for  the  most  selfish  objects,  are  trampling 
under  foot  this  ancient  civilisation. 

December  2£th. — My  letter  telling  Yeh  that  I  had  handed  Summons 
the  affair  over  to  the  naval  and  military  commanders,  and 
Gros's  to  the  same  effect,  were  sent  to  him  to-day ;  also  a  joint 
letter  from  the  commanders,  giving  him  forty-eight  hours  to 
deliver  over  the  city,  at  the  expiry  of  which  time,  if  he  does 
not  do  so,  it  will  be  attacked.  I  postponed  the  delivery  of 
these  letters  till  to-day,  that  the  expiry  of  the  forty-eight 
hours  might  not  fall  on  Christmas  Day.  Now  I  hear  that  the 
commanders  will  not  be  ready  till  Monday,  which  the  Calendar 
tells  me  is  e  the  Massacre  of  the  Innocents  ! '  If  we  can  take 
the  city  without  much  massacre,  I  shall  think  the  job  a  good 
one,  because  no  doubt  the  relations  of  the  Cantonese  with  the 
foreign  population  were  very  unsatisfactory,  and  a  settlement 
was  sooner  or  later  inevitable.  But  nothing  could  be  more 
contemptible  than  the  origin  of  our  existing  quarrel. 

We  moved  this  evening  to  the  Barrier  Forts,  within  about 
two  miles  of  Canton,  and  very  near  the  place  where  the  troops 
are  to  land  for  the  attack  on  the  city.  I  have  been  taking 
walks  on  shore  the  last  two  or  three  days  on  a  little  island 
called  Dane's  Island,  formed  of  barren  hills,  with  little  patches 
of  soil  between  them  and  on  their  flanks,  cultivated  in  terraces 
by  the  industrious  Chinese.  The  people  seemed  very  poor  and 
miserable,  suffering,  I  fear,  from  this  horrid  war.  The  French 
Admiral  sent  on  shore  to  Whampoa  some  casks  of  damaged 
biscuit  the  other  day,  and  there  was  such  a  rush  for  it,  that 
some  people  were,  I  believe,  drowned.  The  head  man  came 
afterwards  to  the  officer,  expressed  much  gratitude  for  the  gift, 
but  said  that  if  it  was  repeated,  he  begged  notice  might  be  given 
to  him,  that  he  might  make  arrangements  to  prevent  such  dis- 
order. The  ships  are  surrounded  by  boats  filled  chiefly  by 
women,  who  pick  up  orange-peel  and  offal,  and  everything  that 
is  thrown  overboard.  One  of  the  gunboats  got  ashore  yester-  j 
day,  within  a  stone's-throw  of  the  town  of  Canton,  and  the 
officer  had  the  coolness  to  call  on  a  crowd  of  Chinese,  who  were 
on  the  quays,  to  pull  her  off,  which  they  at  once  did !  Fancy 
having  to  fight  such  people ! 

Christmas  Doy. — Who  would  have  thought,  when  we 
were  spending  that  cold  snowy  Christinas  Day  last  year  at 
Howick,  that  this  day  would  find  us  separated  by  almost  as  great 



CH.  vm, 


a  distance  as  is  possible  on  the  surface  of  our  globe  !  and  that 
I  should  be  anchored,  as  I  now  am,  within  two  miles  of  a  great 
city,  doomed,  I  fear,  to  destruction,  from  the  folly  of  its  own 
rulers  and  the  vanity  and  levity  of  ours.  We  have  moved  a 
little  farther  up  the  river  this  morning,  and  as  we  are,  like 
St.  Paul,  dropping  an  anchor  from  the  stern,  I  have  had  over 
my  head  for  several  hours  the  incessant  dancing  about  and 
clanking  of  a  ponderous  chain-cable,  till  my  brains  are  nearly 
all  shaken  out  of  their  place. 

December  26th. — I  have  a  second  letter  from  Yeh,  which  is 
even  more  twaddling  than  the  first.  They  say  that  he  is  all 
day  engaged  in  sacrificing  to  an  idol,  which  represents  the  God 
of  Physic,  and  which  is  so  constructed  that  a  stick  in  its  hand 
traces  figures  on  sand.  In  the  figures  so  traced  he  is  supposed 
to  read  his  fate. 

Early  on  Monday  the  28th  the  attack  began  ;  and 
Lord  Elgin  was  reluctantly  compelled  to  witness  what 
he  had  been  reluctantly  compelled  to  order — the  bom- 
bardment of  an  unresisting  town.  Happily  the  damage 
both  to  life  and  property  proved  to  be  very  much  less 
serious  than  at  the  time  he  supposed  it  to  be. 

December  28th,  Noon. — We  have  been  throwing  shells,  etc., 
into  Canton  since  6  A.M.,  without  almost  any  reply  from  the 
town.  I  hate  the  whole  thing  so  much,  that  I  cannot  trust 
myself  to  write  about  it. 

December  29th. — The  mail  was  put  off,  and  I  add  a  line  to 
say  that  I  hope  the  Canton  affair  is  over,  and  well  over.  .  .  . 
When  I  say  this  affair  is  over,  perhaps  I  say  too  much.  But 
the  horrid  bombardment  has  ceased,  and  we  are  in  occupation 
of  Magazine  Hill,  at  the  upper  part  of  the  city,  within  the 

H.M.S.  'Furious?  Canton  River.-— January  2nd,  1858.— 
The  last  week  has  been  a  very  eventful  one  :  not  one  of  unmixed 
satisfaction  to  me,  because  of  course  there  is  a  great  deal  that  is 
painful  about  this  war,  but  on  the  whole  the  results  have  been 
successful.  On  Monday  last  (the  28th)  I  was  awakened  at  6 
A.M.  by  a  cannon-shot,  which  was  the  commencement  of  a  bom- 
bardment of  the  city,  which  lasted  for  27  hours.  As  the  fire 
of  the  shipping  was  either  not  returned  at  all,  or  returned  only 

1858.  TAKING  OF   CANTON.  215 

by  a  very  few  shots,  I  confess  that  this  proceeding  gave  me 
great  pain  at  the  time.  But  I  find  that  much  less  damage  has 
been  done  to  the  town  than  I  expected,  as  the  fire  was  confined 
to  certain  spots.  I  am  on  the  whole,  therefore,  disposed  to  think 
that  the  measure  proved  to  be  a  good  one,  as  the  terror  which 
it  has  excited  in  the  minds  of  the  Cantonese  is  more  than  in 
proportion  to  the  injury  inflicted,  and  therefore  it  will  have  the 
effect,  I  trust,  of  preventing  any  attempts  on  their  part  to  dis- 
lodge or  attack  us,  which  would  entail  very  great  calamities  on 
themselves.  At  10  A.M.  on  Monday  the  troops  landed  at  a 
point  about  two  miles  east  of  the  city,  and  marched  up  with 
very  trifling  resistance  to  Lin  Fort,  which  they  took,  the  French 
entering  first,  to  the  great  disgust  of  our  people.  Next  morning 
at  9  A.M.  they  advanced  to  the  escalade  of  the  city  walls,  and 
proceeded,  with  again  very  slight  opposition,  to  the  Magazine 
Hill,  on  which  they  hoisted  the  British  and  French  flags.  They  ^pt^e  of 
then  took  Gough  Fort  with  little  trouble,  and  there  they  were 
by  3  r.M.  established  in  Canton.  The  poor  stupid  Chinese 
had  placed  some  guns  in  position  to  resist  an  attack  from  the 
opposite  quarter — the  quarter,  viz.  from  which  Gough  attacked 
the  city ;  and  some  people  suppose  that  if  we  had  advanced 
from  that  side  we  should  have  met  with  some  resistance.  My 
own  opinion  is,  that  the  resistance  would  have  been  no  great 
matter  in  any  case,  although,  no  doubt,  if  we  had  made  the 
attempt  in  summer,  and  with  sailors  only,  as  some  proposed 
when  I  came  here  in  July,  we  should  probably  have  met  with 
disaster.  As  it  is,  my  difficulty  has  been  to  enforce  the  adop-  f 
tion  of  measures  to  keep  our  own  people  in  order,  and  to  prevent  j 
the  wretched  Cantonese  from  being  plundered  and  bullied.  This 
task  is  the  more  difficult  from  the  very  motley  force  with  which 
we  have  to  work,  composed,  firstly,  of  French  and  English ; 
secondly,  of  sailors  to  a  great  extent — they  being  very  imper- 
fectly manageable  on  shore  ;  all,  moreover,  having,  I  fear,  a  / 
very  low  standard  of  morality  in  regard  to  stealing  from  the  / 
Chinese.  There  is  a  word  called  '  loot,'  which  gives,  unfor-pooting. 
tunately,  a  venial  character  to  what  would,  in  common  English,  | 
be  styled  robbery.  .  .  .  Add  to  this,  that  there  is  no  flogging  in 
the  French  army,  so  that  it  is  impossible  to  punish  men  com- 
mitting this  class  of  offences.  .  .  .  On  the  other  hand,  these 
incomprehensible  Chinese,  although  they  make  no  defence,  do 
not  come  forward  to  capitulate ;  and  I  am  in  mortal  terror  lest 


the  French  Admiral,  who  is  in  the  way  of  looking  at  these  matters 
in  a  purely  professional  light,  should  succeed  in  inducing  our 
chiefs  to  engage  again  in  offensive  operations,  which  would  lead 
to  an  unnecessary  destruction  of  life  and  property.  I  proposed  to 
Gros  that  we  should  land  on  the  first  day  of  the  year,  and  march 
up  to  Magazine  Hill.  He  consented,  and  the  chiefs  agreed,  so 
we  landed  about  1  P.M.  at  a  point  on  the  river  bank  imme- 
diately below  the  south-east  angle  of  the  city  wall,  which  is  now 
our  line  of  communication  between  the  river  and  Magazine  Hill. 
As  we  landed,  all  the  vessels  in  the  river  hoisted  English  and 
French  flags,  and  fired  salutes.  We  walked  up  to  the  hill  along 
the  top  of  the  wall,  which  is  a  good  wide  road,  and  which  was 
all  lined  with  troops  and  sailors,  who  presented  arms  and  cheered 
as  we  passed.  We  reached  the  summit  at  about  three.  The 
British  quarter,  which  is  a  sort  of  temple,  stands  on  the  highest 
point,  the  hill  falling  pretty  precipitously  from  it  on  all  sides. 
The  view  is  one  of  the  most  extensive  I  ever  saw.  Towards  the 
east  and  north  barren  hills  of  considerable  height,  and  much  of 
the  character  of  those  we  see  from  Hong-kong.  On  the  west, 
level  lands  cultivated  in  rice  and  otherwise.  Towards  the  south, 
the  town  lying  still  as  a  city  of  the  dead.  The  silence  was  quite 
painful,  especially  when  we  returned  about  nightfall :  but  it  is 
partly  owing  to  the  narrowness  of  the  streets,  which  prevents 
one  from  seeing  the  circulation  of  population  which  may  be 
going  on  within.  We  remained  at  the  top  of  the  hill  till  about 
half-past  five,  during  which  time  we  blew  up  the  Blue  Jacket 
Fort  and  Gough  Fort,  and  got  back  to  our  ships  about  8  P.M., 
having  spent  a  very  memorable  first  of  January,  and  made  a 
very  interesting  expedition  ;  although  I  could  not  help  feeling 
melancholy  when  I  thought  that  we  were  so  ruthlessly  destroy- 
ing the  prestige  of  a  place  which  had  been,  for  so  many  cen- 
turies, intact  and  undefiled  by  the  stranger,  and  exercising  our 
valour  against  so  contemptible  a  foe. 

January  4th.—  I  have  not  given  you  as  full  a  description  as 
I  ought  to  have  done  of  the  views  and  ceremony  of  Friday, 
because  I  saw  <  Our  own  Correspondent '  there,  and  I  think 
I  can  count  on  that  being  well  done  in  the  Times.  .  .  .  This 
day  is  a  pour  of  rain,  rather  unusual  for  the  season.  .  .  .  Some 
of  the  Chinese  authorities  are  beginning  to  show  a  desire  to 
treat,  and  some  of  the  inhabitants  are  presenting  petitions  to 
us  to  protect  them  against  robbers,  native  and  foreign. 

L858.  CAPTURE   OF   YEH.  217 

January  6th. — Yesterday  was  a  great  day.  The  chiefs  made  (Capture 
move  which  was  very  judicious,  I  think,  and  which  answered  ° 
^markably  well.  They  sent  bodies  of  men  at  an  early  hour  into 
ic  city  from  different  points,  and  succeeded  in  capturing  Yeh, 
ie  Lieutenant-Governor  of  the  city,  and  the  Tartar  General, 
&c.  This  was  done  without  a  shot  being  fired,  and  I  believe  the 
>ops  behaved  very  well,  abstaining  from  loot,  &c.  Altogether 
the  thing  was  a  complete  success,  and  I  give  them  great  credit 
for  it.  Yeh  has  been  carried  on  board  the  '  Inflexible'  steamer 
a  prisoner  of  war.  He  is  an  enormous  man.  I  can  hardly 
speak  to  his  appearance,  as  I  only  saw  him  for  a  moment  as  he 
sed  me  in  a  chair  on  his  way  to  his  vessel.  Morrison,  who 
las  taken  a  sketch  of  him,  speaks  favourably  of  him ;  but  it  is 
le  fashion  to  abuse  even  his  looks.  The  Lieutenant- General 
las  been  allowed  to  depart,  but  the  Lieutenant-Governor  and 
'artar  General  are  still  in  custody  at  head-quarters.  At  my 
suggestion  a  proposal  was  made  to  the  Lieutenant-Governor  to- 
ly  to  continue  to  govern  the  city  under  us  ;  but  the  stolidity 
>f  the  Chinese  is  so  great  that  there  is  no  saying  what  he  may 
do.  We  have  given  him  till  to-morrow  to  determine  whether 
he  will  accept.  My  whole  efforts  have  been  directed  to  pre- 
serve the  Cantonese  from  the  evils  of  a  military  occupation; 
but  their  stupid  apathetic  arrogance  makes  it  almost  impossible 
to  effect  this  object.  Yeh's  tone  when  he  was  taken  was  to  be 
rather  bumptious.  The  Admiral  asked  him  about  an  old  man 
of  the  name  of  Cooper,  who  was  kidnapped.  At  first  he  pre- 
tended that  he  knew  nothing  about  him.  When  pressed  he 
said,  '  Oh  !  he  was  a  prisoner  of  war.  1  took  him  when  I  drove 
'  you  away  from  the  city  last  winter.  I  took  a  great  deal  of 
'  trouble  with  him  and  the  other  European  prisoners,  but  I  could 
'  not  keep  them  alive.  They  all  died,  and  if  you  like  I'll  show 
(  you  where  I  had  them  buried.'  Morrison  says  that  when  he 
saw  him  on  board  the  f  Inflexible,'  he  was  very  civil  and  piano. 
He  takes  it  easy,  eats  and  drinks  well,  &c.  He  said  to  his 
captain,  that  if  it  was  not  an  indiscreet  question,  he  would 
be  glad  to  know  whether  it  was  likely  that  we  should  kill 
him.  The  captain  had  no  difficulty  in  re-assuring  him  on  that 

January  8th. — We  had  rather  an  important  day's  work  yes- 
terday. The  Lieutenant-Governor  showed  some  symptoms  of 
a  willingness  to  govern  on  our  conditions.  This  gives  some 


chance  of  our  getting  out  of  the  difficulties  of  our  situation. 
You  may  imagine  what  it  is  to  undertake  to  govern  some  mil- 
lions of  people  (the  province  contains  upwards  of  20,000,000), 
when  we  have  in  all  two  or  three  people  who  understand  the 
language  !  I  never  had  so  difficult  a  matter  to  arrange.  .  .  . 
Each  man  has  his  own  way  of  seeing  things,  and  the  real  diffi- 
culties of  the  question  being  enormous,  and  the  mysteries  of  the 
Chinese  character  almost  unfathomable,  .  .  .  the  problem  Is 
well  nigh  insoluble.  However  yesterday  we  seemed  to  make 
some  progress  towards  an  understanding.  We  walked  up  to  the 
front  along  the  wall  as  usual,  and  very  hot  it  was  ;  but  we 
returned  through  the  town  itself  with  the  General  and  Admiral 
and  a  large  escort.  I  rode  on  a  pony.  It  was  a  strange  and 
sad  sight.  The  wretched-looking  single-storied  houses  on 
either  side  of  the  narrow  streets  almost  all  shut  up,  only  a  few 
people  making  their  appearance,  and  these  for  the  most  part 
wan  and  haggard,  and  here  and  there  places  which  the  fire 
from  our  ships  had  destroyed,  all  presented  a  very  melancholy 
spectacle ;  and  one  could  hardly  help  asking  one's  self,  with 
some  disgust,  whether  it  was  worth  while  to  make  all  the  row 
which  we  have  been  making,  for  the  sake  of  getting  into  this 
miserable  place.  However,  I  presume  that  the  better  part  of 
the  population  have  either  fled  or  hid  themselves.  I  daresay 
if  they  had  returned,  and  the  shops  had  been  opened,  the  aspect 
of  the  town  would  have  been  different. 

Establish-  January  9th. — Yesterday  I  went  up  again  to  the  front  with- 
™]oint  out  Gros,  and  pressed  matters  forward  towards  a  solution.  The 
tribunal,  result  was,  that  my  plan  of  getting  the  Governor  of  the  province 
to  consent  to  return  to  his  Yamun  and  resume  his  functions,  a 
board  of  our  officers,  supported  by  a  large  body  of  troops,  being 
appointed  to  inhabit  his  Yamun  with  him,  and  to  aid  him  in 
the  maintenance  of  order,  prevailed.  .  .  .  To-day  we  went, 
Gros  and  I,  in  great  procession  to  the  Governor's  Yamun,  to 
reinstate  him  in  his  office  on  the  above  conditions.  We  were 
carried  in  chairs  through  the  town,  attended  by  a  large  escort. 
The  city  seemed  fuller  of  people  than  on  the  occasion  of  my 
former  visit,  and  they  looked  more  cheerful. 

January  Wth.— By  a  ludicrous  mistake,  no  orders  had  been 
given  to  release  the  Governor  and  Tartar  General,  so  that,  after 
waiting  for  them  for  an  hour,  we  heard  that  the  sentry  would 
not  let  them  leave  the  room  in  which  they  were  confined.  The 


msequence  was  that  it  was  getting  late,  and  as  I  wished  to 
my  escort  out  of  the  streets  before  it  was  dark,  we  were 
)liged  to  hurry  through  the  ceremony  a  little.  We  began  with 
kind  of  squabble  about  seats  ;  but  after  that  was  over,  I 
idressed  the  Governor  in  a  pretty  arrogant  tone.  I  did  so  out 
kindness,  as  I  now  know  .what  fools  they  are,  and  what 
Jamities  they  bring  upon  themselves,  or  rather  on  the  wretched 
>ople,  by  their  pride  and  trickery.  Gros  followed,  in  a  few 
rords  endorsing  what  I  had  said.  The  Governor  answered  very 
itisfactorily.  I  then  rose,  saying  that  we  must  depart,  and 
lat  we  wished  him  and  the  Tartar  General  all  sorts  of  felicity, 
'hey  were  good-natured-looking  men,  the  General  being  of 
:eat  size.  They  conducted  us  to  the  front  door,  where  we 
ought  to  have  found  our  chairs ;  but  they  had  disappeared,  to 
the  infinite  wrath  of  Mr.  Parkes.  ...  I  say  the  front  door ;  but 
in  fact  the  house  consisted  of  a  series  of  one- storied  pavilions, 
placed  one  behind  the  other,  and  connected  by  a  covered  way 
with  trellis-work  panels  running  through  a  sort  of  garden. 
We  got  at  last  into  the  chairs,  and  hastened  off  to  the  city  wall, 
which  we  reached  just  as  it  was  getting  dark,  having  thus  ter- 
minated about  the  strangest  day  which  has  yet  occurred  in 
Chinese  history, — the  Governor  of  this  arrogant  city  of  Canton 
accepting  office  at  the  hand  of  two  barbarian  chiefs ! 

Wednesday,  January  13^. — You  get  the  least  agreeable  pic- 
ture of  the  concerns  in  which  I  am  engaged ;  because,  as  I  write 
this  record  from  day  to  day,  all  my  anxieties  and  their  causes 
are  narrated.  On  the  whole  I  think  the  last  fortnight  has 
been  a  very  successful  one.  I  walked  through  the  city  to-day 
with  the  Admiral  and  an  escort,  and  saw  evident  signs  of 
improvement  in  the  streets.  The  people  seemed  to  be  resuming 
their  avocations,  and  the  shops  to  be  re-opening.  My  '  Tribunal ' 
is  working  well.  In  short,  I  hope  that  the  evils  incident  to  the  . 
capture  of  a  city,  and  especially  of  a  Chinese  city,  have  been  in 
this  instance  very  much  mitigated.  The  season  is  very 
changing.  Three  nights  ago  the  thermometer  did  not  fall  below 
72°,  and  last  n'ght  it  fell  to  40°.  There  is  a  cold  wind ;  and  it 
was  necessary  to  walk  briskly  to-day  to  keep  one's-self  warm. 

January  16th. — Though  I  was  able  to  send  off  the  last 
despatches  with  something  of  a  satisfactory  report,  we  are  by 
no  means,  I  fear,  yet  out  of  the  wood.  I  took  a  long  walk  in 
the  city  of  Canton  yesterday.  I  visited  the  West  Gate,  where  Exodus. 


I  found  a  stream  of  people  moving  outwards,  and  was  told  by 
the  officer  that  this  goes  on  from  morning  to  night.  They  say, 
when  asked,  that  they  are  going  out  of  town  to  celebrate  the 
New  Year,  but  my  belief  is  thafe  they  are  flying  from  us.  The 
streets  were  full,  and  the  people  civil.  Quantities  of  eating 
stalls,  but  a  large  proportion  of  the  shops  still  shut.  As  we 
got  near  the  wall  in  our  own  occupation,  some  people  ran  up  to 
us  complaining  that  they  had  been  robbed.  We  went  into  the 
houses  and  saw  clearly  enough  the  signs  of  devastation.  I  have 
no  doubt,  from  the  description,  that  the  culprits  were  French 
sailors.  If  this  goes  on  one  fortnight  after  we  have  captured 
i  the  town,  when  is  it  to  stop?  ...  It  is  very  difficult  to  remedy. 
.  .  .  Nothing  could,  I  believe,  be  worse  than  our  own  sailors, 
but  they  are  now  nearly  all  on  board  ship,  and  we  have  the 
resource  of  the  Cat.  .  .  .  All  this  is  very  sad,  but  I  am 
not  yet  quite  at  the  end  of  my  tether.  If  things  do  not  mend 
within  a  few  days  I  shall  startle  my  colleagues  by  proposing  to 
abandon  the  town  altogether,  giving  reasons  for  it  which  will 
enable  me  to  state  on  paper  all  these  points.  No  human 
power  shall  induce  me  to  accept  the  office  of  oppressor  of  the 

January  20th.— -I  hinted  at  my  ideas  as  to  the  evacuation  of 
the  city,  and  it  has  had  an  excellent  effect.  .  .  .  There  is  a 
notable  progress  towards  quiet  in  the  city.  Still,  I  fear  the  tide 
of  emigration  is  going  on.  Parkes  is  exerting  himself  with 
considerable  effect,  and  he  is  really  very  clever.  There  were 
a  great  many  more  shops  open  in  the  streets  yesterday  than  I 
had  seen  before.  .  .  .  What  a  thing  it  is  to  have  to  deal  with 
A  sober  a  sober  population!  I  have  wandered  about  the  streets  of 
population.  Canton  for  some  seven  or  eight  days  since  the  capture,  and  I 
have  not  seen  one  drunken  man.  In  any  Christian  town  we 
should  have  had  numbers  of  rows  by  this  time  arising  out  of 
drunkenness,  however  cowed  the  population  might  have  been. 
The  Tribunal  convicted  a  Chinaman  the  other  day  for  selling 
'samshoo'  to  the  soldiers.  I  requested  Parkes  to  hand  him 
over  to  the  Governor  Pehkwei  for  punishment.  This  was  done, 
and  the  arrangement  answered  admirably.  The  Governor  was 
pleased,  he  presented  himself  before  the  Chinese  as  the  executor 
of  our  judgments,  and  at  the  same  time  we,  to  a  certain  extent, 
seemed  to  be  conceding  to  the  Chinese  the  principle  of  ex- 
territoriality which  we  assert  as  against  them.  I  have  no 


esponsible  ministers  '  here,  though  the  presence  of  a  colleague, 
,  since  military  operations  began,  the  position  of  the  naval 
d  military  Commanders-in-Chief,  have  required  me  to  act  with 
me  caution,  in  order  to  make  the  wheels  of  the  machine  work 
oothly  and  keep  on  the  rails.  For  this  reason  it  was  that  I 
suggested  a  few  days  ago  the  plan  of  evacuation.  The  mainten-  Mainten- 
ance of  order  in  a  city  under  martial  law  was,  I  felt,  an  affair 
rather  for  the  Commarider-in-Chief  than  for  me,  therefore  I  wras 
in  a  false  position  when  I  meddled  with  it  directly.  But  the 
question  of  remaining  in  the  city  or  not  was  a  political  one. 
By  letting  it  be  known  that  I  had  there-  my  lines  of  Torres 
Vedras,  upon  which  I  should  fall  back  if  necessary,  I  obtained 
the  influence  I  required  for  insuring,  as  far  as  possible,  the 
adoption  of  satisfactory  arrangements  within  the  city.  I  must 
add  that  this  evacuation  plan  was  not  intended  by  me  to  be  a 
mere  threat.  I  have  it  clearly  matured  in  my  mind  as  a  thing 
feasible,  and  which  would  be  under  certain  circumstances  an 
advisable  plan  to  adopt.  In  taking  Canton  we  had,  as  I  under- 
stand it,  two  objects  in  view :  the  one  to  prove  that  we  could 
take  it ;  the  other  to  have  in  our  hands  something  to  give  up 
when  we  come  to  terms  with  the  Emperor, — f  a  material  guaran- 
tee.' I  believe  that  the  capture  of  the  city,  followed  by  the 
capture  of  Yeh,  has  settled  the  former  point.  Indeed,  from  all 
that  I  hear,  I  infer  that  the  capture  of  Yeh  has  had  more  effect 
on  the  Chinese  mind  than  the  capture  of  the  city.  I  believe, 
therefore,  that  we  might  abandon  the  city  without  losing  much 
if  anything  on  this  head.  No  doubt  we  should  lose  on  the 
second  head ;  we  should  not  have  Canton  to  give  up  when  a 
treaty  was  concluded,  if  we  had  given  it  up  already.  Even  then 
however  we  might,  by  retaining  the  island  of  Honan,  the  forts, 
&c.,  do  a  good  deal  towards  providing  a  substitute ;  so  that  you 
see  my  threat  was  made  bond  fide.  I  certainly  should  have 
preferred  the  loss  to  which  I  have  referred,  to  the  continuance 
of  a  state  of  things  in  which  the  Allied  troops  were  plundering 
the  inhabitants. 

January  24tth. — Baron  Gros  and  I  were  conversing  together 
yesterday  on  affairs  in  this  quarter,  and  among  other  things  he 
told  me  that  we  were  both  much  reproached  for  our  laxity,  and 
that  I  was  more  blamed  on  that  account  than  he.  I  said  to 
him :  '  I  can  praise  you  on  many  accounts,  my  dear  Baron,  but 
'I  cannot  compliment  you  on  being  a  greater  brute  than  I  am.' 


Whatever  was  the  feeling  of  the  British  residents, 
and  whatever  excuses  may  be  made  for  it,  the  consistent 
humanity  shown  both  in  the  taking  and  in  the  occupa- 
tion of  the  city  did  not  fail  to  strike  Mr.  Reed,  the 
Plenipotentiary  of  the  United  States,  who  wrote  to 
Lord  Elgin :  4  I  cannot  omit  this  opportunity  of  most 
4  sincerely  congratulating  you  on  the  success  at  Canton, 
4  the  great  success  of  a  bloodless  victory,  the  merit  of 
4  which,  I  am  sure,  is  mainly  due  to  your  Lordship's 
4  gentle  and  discreet  counsels.  My  countrymen  will,  I 
4  am  sure,  appreciate  it.'  4  This,'  observes  Lord  Elgin, 
4  from  the  representative  of  the  United  States,  is  grati- 
4  fying  both  personally  and  politically.' 

January  28th. — I  am  glad  to  say  that  this  mail  conveys, 
on  the  whole,  a  satisfactory  report  of  the  progress  of  affairs, 
though  this  letter  puts  you  in  possession  of  all  the  ebbs  and 
flows  which  have  taken  place  during  the  fortnight.  I  send 
a  leaf  of  geranium,  which  I  culled  in  the  garden  of  the  Tartar 

Canton  January  3Ist. — I  visited  yesterday  two  of  the  Canton  prisons, 

and  witnessed  there  some  sights  of  horror  beyond  what  I  could 
have  pictured  to  myself.  Many  of  the  inmates  were  so  re- 
duced by  disease  and  starvation,  that  their  limbs  were  not  as 
thick  as  my  wrist.  One  man  who  was  in  this  condition  was  in 
the  receptacle  for  untried  prisoners,  and  said  he  had  been  there 
seven  years.  In  one  of  the  courts  which  we  entered,  there  was 
a  cell  closed  in  by  a  double  row  of  upright  posts,  which  is  the 
common  style  of  gate  at  Canton,  and  I  was  attracted  to  it  by 
the  groans  of  its  inmates.  I  desired  it  to  be  opened,  and  such 
a  spectacle  as  it  presented  !  The  prisoners  were  covered  with 
sores,  produced  by  severe  beatings ;  one  was  already  dead,  and 
the  rats, — but  I  cannot  go  further  in  description.  The  others 
could  hardly  crawl,  they  were  so  emaciated,  and  my  conviction 
is  that  they  were  shut  in  there  to  die.  The  prison  authorities 
stated  that  they  had  escaped  at  the  time  of  the  bombardment 
for  which  they  had  been  punished  as  we  saw.  If  the  statement 
was  true,  they  must  have  been  systematically  starved  since 
their  recapture.  Our  pretext  for  visiting  the  prisons  was  to 
discover  whether  any  Europeans,  or  persons  who  had  been  in 


ie  service  of,  or  had  had  relations  with  Europeans,  were  con- 
ted  in  them.  We  took  out  some  who  professed  to  belong  to 
ie  latter  classes.  I  went  a  step  further,  by  taking  out  a  poor 
>y  of  fifteen,  whom  we  found  in  chains,  but  so  weak  that 
?hen  we  took  them  off  he  was  unable  to  stand.  I  told  Mr. 
'arkes  to  take  him  to  Pehkwei  from  me,  as  a  sample  of  the 
inner  in  which  his  prisons  are  managed. 

February  "2nd. — Pehkwei  was  very  indignant    at  our  visit 
his  prisons,  and  hinted  that  he  would  make  away  with  him- 
If,  in  a  letter  which  he  wrote  to  me  on  the  subject.     How- 
,  he  was  obliged  to  admit  that  some  of  the  things  we  found 
rere  very  bad,  and  quite  against  the  Chinese  law.     On  re- 
iewing  the  whole  I  must  admit,  that,  except  in  the  case  of  the 
ie  cell  that  I  have  described,  it  was  rather  neglect,  want  of 
food,  medical  care,  cleanliness,  &c.,  than  positive  cruelty,  of 
which  one  found  evidence  in  the  prisons. 

Canton  the  impregnable  had  been  taken,  and  was  in 
the  military  occupation  of  the  allied  forces  ;  Yeh,  the 
Terror  of  Barbarians,  was  a  captive  beyond  the  seas ; 
so  completely  was  all  resistance  crushed,  that  it  was 
found  possible  to  raise  the  blockade  of  the  Canton 
River,  and  to  let  trade  return  to  its  usual  channels. 
Still  nothing  was  achieved  so  long  as  the  Emperor 
remained  aloof,  and  could  represent  the  affair  as  a  local 
disturbance  not  affecting  the  imperial  power.  To  any 
permanent  settlement  it  was  essential  that  he  should  be 
a  party ;  the  next  step,  therefore,  was  to  move  north- 
wards  to  Shanghae,  and  there  open  direct  negotiations  wards. 
with  the  Court  of  Pekin  ;  and,  for  the  success  of  these 
negotiations,  it  was  obviously  of  great  importance  that 
the  envoys  of  England  and  France  should  have  the 
co-operation  of  the  representatives  of  Russia  and  the 
United  States. 

February  kih. — Still  no  letters.  To-morrow,  Frederick  is  to 
go  to  Macao,  to  take  to  Messrs.  Reed  and  Putiatine  copies  of 
all  my  diplomatic  correspondence  with  Yeh,  &c.,  and  an  invita- 


tion  to  each  that  he  will  join  us  in  an  attempt  to  settle  matters 
by  negotiation  at  Shanghae.  It  is  the  commencement  of  the 
third  act  in  this  Chinese  affair. 

February  6th. — I  have  a  letter  from  Mr.  Reed,  saying  that 
he  is  going  to  the  North  this  day,  so  that  perhaps  Frederick 
will  not  find  him.  This  would  be  a  great  disappointment. 

Sunday,  February  1th. — A  month  without  news  is  very  long 
to  wait.  Perhaps  time  passes  a  little  more  quickly  than  when 
one  was  dawdling  and  doing  nothing  at  Hong-kong ;  but  still 
this  life  is  tiresome  enough.  I  do  not  suppose  that  there  ever 
was  a  town  of  the  same  extent,  or  a  population  of  the  same 
number,  more  utterly  uninteresting  than  the  town  and  popula- 
tion of  Canton — low  houses,  narrow  streets,  temples  contain- 
ing some  hideous  idols,  which  are  not  apparently  in  the  least 
venerated  by  their  own  worshippers.  The  only  other  resource 
is  the  curiosity  shops,  and,  as  you  know,  I  have  not  the  genius 
for  making  collections. 

February  9th. — Things  have  taken  a  better  turn.  F.  by 
steaming  at  night  from  Macao  to  Hong-kong  caught  Reed 
about  an  hour  before  that  fixed  for  his  departure  for  the  North. 
He  was  delighted  with  my  communication,  and  has  written 
undertaking  to  co-operate  cordially  with  us.  This  is,  I  think, 
a  very  great  diplomatic  triumph,  because  it  not  only  smooths 
the  way  for  future  proceedings,  but  it  greatly  relieves  our 
anxiety  about  Canton,  as  the  Americans  are  the  only  people 
who  would  be  likely  to  give  us  trouble  during  the  military 

February  Wth. — We  have  got  Putiatine's  letter  for  Pekin. 
It  is  very  good ;  perhaps  better  than  any  of  the  lot.  .  .  .  How- 
ever, the  entente  is  now  established.  My  mind,  too,  is  a  good 
deal  relieved  to-day  by  seeing  the  wretched  junks,  which  have 
been  shut  up  so  long  by  the  blockade,  with  their  sails  set, 
gliding  down  the  river.  I  sent  Mr.  Wade  to  visit  Yeh  yester- 
day, to  see  how  he  took  the  notion  of  being  sent  out  of  the 
country  to  Calcutta  or  elsewhere.  He  adhered  to  his  policy  of 
indifference,  real  or  affected,  I  cannot  tell  which.  I  suppose  it 
is  a  point  of  pride  with  him  never  to  complain. 

Caiton°  ^  H'  M'  S-  'Furious?— February  20th.— I  am  now  off  from 
Canton,  never  I  hope  to  see  it  again.  Two  months  I  have 
been  there— engaged  in  this  painful  service— checking,  as  I 
have  best  been  able  to  do,  the  disposition  to  maltreat  this  un- 

1858.  MOVE   NORTHWARDS.  225 

fortunate  people.  .  .  .  On  the  whole  I  think  I  have  been  suc- 
cessful.    There  never  was  a  Chinese  town  which  suffered  so 
little  by  the  occupation  of  a  hostile  force  ;  and  considering  the 
difficulties  which  our  alliance  with  the  French  (though  I  have 
had  all  support  from  Gros,  in  so  far  as  he  can  give  it)  has  oc- 
casioned, it  is   a   very  signal  success.     The   good  peaple  at 
Hong-kong,  &c.,  do  not  know  whether  to  be  incredulous  or 
isgusted  at  this  policy.   ...  I  am  told  a  parcel  of  ridiculous 
>ries   about   arming  of  Braves,  &c.     I   heard   that   in  the 
astern  suburb  the  people  '  looked  ill-natured,'  so  I  have  been 
greater  part  of  my  two  last  days  in  that  suburb,  looking  in 
rain  into  faces  to  discover  these  menacing  indications.    Tester- 
lay  I  walked  through  very  out-of-the-way  streets  and  crowded 
loroughfares  with  Wade  and  two  sailors,  through  thousands 
ind  thousands,  without  a  symptom  of  disrespect.  ...  I  know 
our  people  for  a  long  time  used  to  insist  on  every  China- 
they  met  taking  his  hat  off.  Of  course  it  rather  astonished 
respectable  Chinese  shopkeeper  to  be  poked  in  the  ribs  by  a 
sturdy  sailor  or  soldier,  and  told,  in  bad  Chinese  or  in  panto- 
le,  to  take  off  his  hat,  which  is  a  thing  they  never  do,  and 
rhich  is  not  with  them  even  a  mark  of  respect.     I  only  men- 
ion  this  as  an  instance  of  the  follies  which  people  commit  when 
icy  know  nothing  of  the  manners  of  those  with  whom  they 
iave  to  deal.  .  .  .  We  are  steaming  down  to  Hong-kong  on  a 
>eautiful  fresh  morning.     I  feel  as  if  I  was  a  step  on  my  way 

At  Hong-kong  he  remained  nearly  a  fortnight,  that 
us  ship  might  be  fitted  to  go  to  the  North :  his  letter 
for  Pekin  being  sent  on,  in  the  meantime,  to  Shanghae, 
by  the  hands  of  his  secretary,  Mr.  Oliphant.1 

February  26th. — To-morrow  this  letter  goes,  and  still  no 
mail  from  England.  I  think  of  starting  in  a  few  days,  and  call- 
ing at  the  other  ports — Foochow,  Amoy,  and  Ningpo.  I  have 
a  line  from  Oliphant,  who  took  up  my  letter  to  Shanghae,  and 
made  a  quick  though  rough  passage.  We  shall  be  a  good  deal 
longer  on  the  way,  and  my  captain  advises  me  to  be  off,  to 
anticipate  the  equinox.  I  have  just  written  a  despatch  to 
Lord  Clarendon,  to  tell  him  that  perhaps  I  may  go  direct 

1  Mr.  Oliphant's  '  Narrative  '  con-  places  which  he  visited  in  the  exe- 
tains  an  interesting  account  of  the  cution  of  this  mission. 



from  Shanghae  to  Japan,  and  so  home.  It  is  almost  too  good 
a  prospect  to  be  realised. 

February  27th. — I  had  Reed  to  dine  with  me  yesterday.     He 

is  off  this  morning  to  Manila,  en  route  for  Shanghae.     The 

Russian  returns  on  Monday,  and  we  are  going  to  Shanghae  by 

Home         tne  same  route  most  fraternally.  .  .   .   Your  accounts  of  the 

news.          boys  make  me  feel  as  if  I  had  been  an  age  away  from  home. 

God  grant  that  I  may  get  through  this  business  soon,  and 

return  to  find  you  all  flourishing  ! 

March  1st. — I  received  your  letters  yesterday.  .  .  .  How  I 
wish  that  I  had  joined  that  merry  dance  on  Christmas  Day  at 
Dunmore,  and  seen  B.  and  R.  performing  their  reel  steps,  and 
F.1  snapping  his  fingers  !  You  know  now  how  differently  my 
New  Year  was  passed — traversing  that  vast  city  of  the  dead 
— meditating  over  that  28th  December  which  Herod  had 
already  hallowed.  .  .  .  These  letters  are  my  conscience  and 
memory,  the  only  record  I  keep  of  passing  emotions  and 
events.  .  .  .  Depend  upon  it  the  true  doctrine  is  one  I  have 
before  propounded  to  you  :  Do  nothing  with  which  your  own 
conscience  can  reproach  you  ;  nothing  in  its  largest  sense ; 
nothing,  including  omission  as  well  as  commission ;  not  nothing 
only  in  the  meaning  of  having  done  no  ill,  but  nothing  also  in 
the  meaning  of  having  omitted  no  opportunity  of  doing  good. 
You  are  then  well  with  yourself.  If  it  is  worth  while  to  be 
well  with  others — SUCCEED. 

Swatow.  H.M.S.  (  Furious,'  Swatow. — March  5th. — I  am  again  on  the 

wide  ocean,  though  for  the  moment  at  anchor.  .  .  .  The  settle- 
ment here  is  against  treaty.  It  consists  mainly  of  agents  of 
the  two  great  opium-houses,  Dent  and  Jardine,  with  their 
hangers-on.  This,  with  a  considerable  business  in  the  coolie 
trade — which  consists  in  kidnapping  wretched  coolies,  putting 
them  on  board  ships  where  all  the  horrors  of  the  slave-trade 
are  reproduced,  and  sending  them  on  specious  promises  to  such 
places  as  Cuba — is  the  chief  business  of  the  f  foreign '  mer- 
chants at  Swatow.  Swatow  itself  is  a  small  town  some  miles 
up  the  river.  I  can  only  distinguish  it  by  the  great  fleet  of 
junks  lying  off  it.  The  place  where  the  foreigners  live  is  a 
little  island,  barren,  but  nicely  situated  at  the  mouth  of  the 
river.  A  number  of  Chinese  are  resorting  to  it,  and  putting 

>  Bruce,  Robert,  and  Frederick,  his  three  sons. 

L858.  MR.    BURNS.  227 

ip  rather  good  houses  for  Chinese.  The  population  has  a 
>etter  appearance  than  the  Cantonese.  The  men  powerful  and 
frank-looking,  and  some  of  the  women  not  quite  hideous.  Our 
jeople  get  on  very  well  with  the  natives  here.  They  have  no 

>nsuls  or  special  protection  ;  so  they  act,  I  presume,  with  mode- 
-ation,  and  matters  go  on  quite  smoothly.  I  went  into  the  house 
>f  one  of  the  (  Shroffs  '  (bankers  or  money-dealers)  connected 

dth  Jardine's  house,  and  I  found  the  gentleman  indulging 
his  opium-pipe.  He  gave  us  some  delicious  tea.  .  .  .  The 
Shroffs  here  are  three  brothers.  They  came  from  Canton,  their 
father  remained  behind.  The  mandarins  wanting  money  to 

irry  on  the  war  with  us,  called  upon  him  to  pay  12,000  taels 
ibout  4,0001.  They  used  him  as  the  screw  to  get  this  sum 
from  his  sons  who  were  in  foreign  employ.  Though  the  old 

lan  had  resolved  to  leave  his  home  and  his  patch  of  ground 
rather  than  pay,  his  sons  provided  the  money  and  sent  him 
back.  Such  cases  are  constantly  occurring  here,  and  they  show 
how  strong  the  family  affections  are  in  China. 

Another  case  was  mentioned  to  me  yesterday,  which  illustrates  Rough 
the  very  roundabout  way  in  which  justice  is  arrived  at  among  JUS1 
•us  all  here.  The  coolies  in  a  French  coolie  ship  rose.  The 
master  and  mate  jumped  overboard,  and  the  coolies  ran  the 
ship  on  shore,  where  the  crew  had  their  clothes,  &c.,  taken 
from  them,  but  were  otherwise  well  treated.  On  this  a  French 
man-of-war  comes,  proceeds  to  Swatow,  which  is  fifty  miles 
from  the  scene  of  the  occurrence,  and  informs  the  people  that 
they  will  bombard  the  place  immediately  unless  6,000  dollars 
are  paid.  They  got  the  money,  but  the  mandarins  at  once 
squeezed  it  out  of  these  same  Shroffs,  saying,  that  as  they 
brought  the  barbarians  to  the  spot,  they  must  pay  for  the 
damages  they  inflicted.  Meanwhile,  the  f  foreigners '  have  it, 
I  apprehend,  much  their  own  way.  They  are  masters  of  the 
situation,  pay  no  duties  except  tonnage  dues,  which  are  paid 
by  them  at  about  one-third  of  the  amount  paid  by  native  vessels 
of  the  same  burthen ! 

Hearing  that  Mr.  Burns,  a  missionary,  whose  case  is  Mr.  Burns, 
narrated  in  the  series  of  ( insults  by  the  Chinese  authorities ' 
submitted  to  Parliament  (he  having  been  in  fact  very  kindly 
treated,  as  he  himself  acknowledges),  was  at  the  island,  I 
invited  him  to  breakfast.  I  found  him  a  very  interesting 
person,  really  an  enthusiastic  missionary,  and  kindly  in  his 


feelings  towards  the  Chinese.  He  wears  the  Chinese  attire, 
not  as  a  disguise,  but  to  prevent  crowds  being  attracted  by  his 
appearance.  He  does  not  boast  of  much  success  in  converting, 
but  the  Chinese  are  very  willing  to  listen  to  him  and  to  take 
books.  They  approve  of  all  books  that  inculcate  virtue,  morality, 
&c.,  but  they  have  no  taste  for  the  distinctive  doctrines  of 
Christianity.  As  Yeh  said,  when  a  Bible  was  presented  to 
him  from  the  Bishop  :— '  I  know  that  book  quite  well,  a  very 
'  good  book.  It  teaches  men  to  be  virtuous,  like  the  Budd- 
'  histic  books  ;'  and  then  turning  very  politely  to  his  captain, 
c  Will  you  be  good  enough  to  take  care  of  this  book  till  I 
'  want  it.' 

The  country  in  this  neighbourhood  is  very  lawless.  Burns,  a 
few  days  before  he  was  arrested,  slept  with  his  two  companions, 
two  native  Christians,  in  a  large  village.  During  the  night 
the  house  he  was  in  was  broken  into,  and  all  they  had  stolen. 
Nothing  remained  but  a  few  of  their  books,  which  they  carried 
tied  to  sticks  over  their  shoulders.  A  peasant  came  up  to  him 
and  said,  '  I  see  you  are  not  accustomed  to  carry  loads,'  and 
took  his  burden  and  carried  it  for  him  six  miles,  asking  for 
nothing  in  return.  Other  natives  bought  the  books  (they  had 
previously  given  them  gratuitously),  and  thus  they  got  money 
enough  to  go  on  with.  When  they  got  into  this  principal 
town,  and  were  arrested  by  the  police,  the  authorities  seemed 
rather  to  regret  it.  They  underwent  some  interrogatories 
which  Burns  seems  to  have  turned  into  a  sort  of  sermon,  for 
he  went  at  length  into  Christian  teaching,  and  the  judges 
listened  most  complacently.  They  confined  them  in  prison, 
but  did  everything  they  could  to  make  Burns  himself  comfort- 
able. His  companions  were  not  so  well  treated.  Pie  joined 
them  at  one  time  at  his  own  request,  under  circumstances 
curiously  illustrative  of  Chinese  manners.  A  subordinate  of 
the  gaoler  with  whom  he  was  lodged  died  from  swallowing 
opium.  The  gaoler  was  at  once  held  responsible,  and  his 
house  was  mobbed.  On  which  Mr.  Burns,  not  knowing  the 
cause  of  the  disturbance,  asked  to  rejoin  his  companions.  He 
found  them  shut  up  in  a  very  loathsome  cell,  with  several 
other  prisoners;  a  place  something  like  my  Canton  prisons; 
but  he  said  they  did  very  well  while  there,  for  they  were  able 
to  preach  to  the  other  prisoners.  At  one  of  the  interrogatories, 

1858.  FOOCHOW.  229i 

me  of  his  companions,  the  more  zealous  of  the  two,  on  being 
sked  why  he  had  brought  a  foreigner  to  the  place,  answered 
lat  'it  was  because  he  was  a  Christian,  and  that  their  books 
said,  f  It  is  better  to  die  with  the  wise  than  to  live  with  fools.' 
This  sentiment  was  not  considered  complimentary  by  the  man- 
darins, who  immediately  ordered  him  to  be  beaten,  upon  which 
te  got  ten  blows  on  each  side  of  his  face  with  an  instrument 
like  the  sole  of  a  shoe.  Mr.  B.  told  this  story,  but  added  that 
believed  the  beating  had  been  determined  on  before,  for  his 
>ther  companion,  who  was  the  more  worldly  of  the  two,  and 
rho  had  probably  found  his  way  to  the  heart  of  the  gaoler, 
ras  told  that  he  too  would  be  beaten  that  day,  but  that  the 
>lows  would  be  laid  on  by  a  friendly  hand,  and  that  if  he  kept 

cheek  loose,  he  would  not  feel  them  much. 

March  8th. — We  are  entering  Foochow ;  a  most  beautiful  Amoy. 
lay ;  the  sea  smooth  as  glass.     We  left  Amoy  last  night.     I 
?ent  to  church  in  the  forenoon  at  the  Consulate.     An  American 
missionary  preached.     There  are  several  missionaries  at  Amoy. 
They  have,  as  they  say,  about  300  converts.     The  foreigners 
and   natives   get   on   very  well  there.     The  town  is  a  poor 
enough  place,  and  the  island  seems  rocky  and  barren.     How  it 
can  sustain  the  great  population  which  inhabits  the  villages 
that  cover  it  is  a  mystery. 

March  14th. — A  vessel  from  Shanghae  brought  me  this 
morning  a  letter  from  Oliphant,  which  shows  that  he  has  got 
well  through  the  business  which  I  entrusted  to  him.1  He  went 
with  my  letter  for  the  Prime  Minister  of  the  Emperor  to  a 
city  named  Soochow,  which  is  not  open  to  foreigners,  and 
which  is  moreover  the  seat  of  beauty  and  fashion  in  the  empire, 
and  he  seems  to  have  been  well  received.  This  is  a  good  sign. 
An  edict  has  moreover  been  issued  by  the  Emperor  degrading 
Yeh,  and  moderate  in  its  tone  as  regards  foreigners.  All  this 
looks  as  if  there  would  be  at  Pekin  a  disposition  to  settle 
matters.  God  grant  that  it  may  be  so,  that  I  may  get  home, 
and  not  be  required  to  do  farther  violence  to  these  poor  people. 

The    scenery  of    Foochow    and   its   neighbourhood  Foochow. 
struck  him  as  singularly  beautiful.     Even  in  an  official 
despatch  we  find  him  writing  of  it  as  follows : — 

1  See  his  '  Narrative/  vol.  i.  c.  xi. 


With  the  exception  perhaps  of  Chusan,  I  have  as  yet  seen 
no  place  in  China  which,  in  point  of  beauty  of  scenery,  rivals 
Foochow.  The  Min  river  passes  to  the  sea  between  two 
mountain  ranges,  which,  wherever  the  torrents  have  not  washed 
away  every  particle  of  earth  from  the  surface,  are  cultivated  by 
the  industrious  Chinese  in  terraces  to  their  very  summits. 
These  mountain  ranges  close  in  upon  its  banks  during  the  last 
part  of  its  course :  at  one  time  confining  it  to  a  comparatively 
narrow  channel,  and  at  another  suffering  it  to  expand  into  a 
lake ;  but  in  the  vicinity  of  the  Pagoda  Island  they  separate, 
leaving  between  them  the  plain  on  which  Foochow  stands.  This 
plain  is  diversified  by  hill  and  dale,  and  comprises  the  Island  of 
Nantai,  which  is  the  site  of  the  foreign  settlement.  At  the 
season  of  my  visit,  both  hills  and  plain  were  chiefly  covered 
with  wheat ;  but  I  was  informed  that  the  soil  is  induced,  by 
irrigation  and  manure  applied  liberally,  to  yield  in  many  cases, 
besides  the  wheat  crop,  two  rice  crops  during  the  year.  We 
walked  with  perfect  freedom,  both  about  the  town  and  into  the 
surrounding  country.  Nothing  could  be  more  courteous  than 
the  people  of  the  villages,  or  more  quaint  than  the  landscape, 
consisting  mainly  of  hillocks  dotted  with  horseshoe  graves, 
and  monuments  to  the  honour  of  virtuous  maidens  and  faith- 
ful widows,  surrounded  by  patches  of  wheat  and  vegetables. 
Kensal  Green  or  P£re  la  Chaise,  cultivated  as  kitchen  gardens, 
would  not  inaptly  represent  the  general  character  of  the  rural 
districts  of  China  which  I  have  visited. 

In  some  respects,  however,  the  impression  was  not 
so  satisfactory.  In  his  journal  he  says : 

The  people  whom  we  met  in  our  peregrinations  were  per- 
fectly civil.  The  Consul,  too,  and  Europeans  were  civil  like- 
wise. They  were  willing  to  give  me  information.  I  do  not 
know  that  I  carried  much  away  with  me,  except  the  general 
impression,  that  our  trade  is  carried  on  on  principles  which 
are  dishonest  as  regards  the  Chinese,  and  demoralising  to  our 
own  people. 

American         At  Foochow,  I  saw  one  of  the  American  missionaries,  a  very 
~      worthy  man  I  should  think,  but  not  of  the  stamp  of  Mr.  Burns. 
He  had  been  about  eight  years  at  Foochow,  and  he  computed 
the  converts  made  by  himself  and  his  brother  missionaries  at 
fifteen.     He  said  that  they  were  particular  as  to  the  conduct 

CHINIIAE.      NINGPO.  231 

>f  their  converts ;  but  I  cannot  affirm  that  he  satisfied  me  that 
icy  accepted  in  any  very  earnest  way  the  peculiar  doctrines 
>f  Christianity.     However,  I  daresay  that  these  missionaries 
lo  good,  for  the  Chinese  are  not  fanatics,  and  it  must  do  them 
benefit  to  see  among  them  some  foreigners  who  are  not  en- 
gaged exclusively  in  money-making. 

March  16th. — We  are  at  anchor  off  Chinhae  at  the  mouth  of  Chinhae. 
te  river  which  leads  to  Ningpo.  We  have  just  returned  from 
walk  on  shore.  We  passed  through  a  small  walled  town,  and 
jlimbed  up  a  hill  to  a  temple  on  the  summit,  from  which  we 
tad  a  magnificent  prospect.  On  the  east  and  north,  the  sea 
studded  with  the  islands  of  the  Chusan  group ;  on  the  west,  a 
•ich  plain,  through  which  the  river  meanders  on  its  way  from 
ingpo  ;  on  the  north,  a  succession  of  mountain  ranges.  We 
rere  accompanied  by  some  curious  but  good-natured  Chinamen, 
who  seemed  anxious  to  give  us  information.  A  very  dirty  lad, 
without  a  tail,  proved  to  be  the  priest.  After  looking  about  us 
for  some  time,  we  entered  the  building ;  which  contained  a  sort 
of  central  .shrine,  in  which  were  some  gilt  figures  of  large  size, 
besides  rows  of  smaller  gilt  figures  round  the  walls.  I  observed 
a  number  of  slips  of  paper  with  Chinese  characters  upon  them  ; 
and  being  told  that  they  were  used  for  divination  purposes,  I 
asked  how  it  was  done :  upon  which  one  of  the  Chinamen  took 
from  before  the  shrine  a  thing  like  a  match-holder,  full  of  bits 
of  stick  like  matches,  and  kneeling  down  on  a  hassock,  began 
to  shake  this  case  till  one  of  the  bits  of  stick  fell  out.  He 
picked  it  up,  and  finding  a  single  notch  upon  it,  selected  from 
the  slips  of  paper  which  I  had  noticed  the  one  which  had  a 
corresponding  mark.  We  carried  it  away,  and  I  intend  to  get 
Mr.  Wade  to  translate  it  that  I  may  send  it  to  you.  The  other 
Chinamen  present  seemed  very  much  amused  at  what  was  going 
on.  They  do  not  appear  to  have  a  particle  of  reverence  for 
their  religion,  and  yet  they  spend  a  good  deal  of  money  on  their 

Wade's  teacher  (so  the  Chinaman  who  aids  him  in  the  work 
of  interpretation  is  styled)  has  told  him  that  the  lot  which  fell  to 
me  at  the  Buddhist  temple  is  the  No.  1  lot,  the  most  fortunate 
of  all.  Their  system  of  divination  is  rather  complicated,  but, 
as  I  understand  it,  it  appears  to  be  that  Noah,  or  some  one  who 
lived  about  his  time,  discovered  eight  symbols  on  the  back  of 
a  tortoise.  These,  multiplied  into  themselves,  make  sixty-four, 


which  constituted  the  Book  of  Fate.    It  appears  that  my  lot  is 
the  first  of  the  eight,  and  therefore  the  best  that  can  be  got ! 
Ningpo.  Ningpo. — March  18th. — We  arrived  here  yesterday,  and  I 

have  been  walking  both  days  about  the  town  with  Mr.  Meadows, 
the  author,  who  is  vice-consul  here.  I  am  disappointed  with 
the  city,  of  which  I  had  heard  a  great  deal.  But  the  people 
are  even  more  amiable  than  at  any  other  place  I  have  visited. 
Oliphant  has  rejoined  us  in  high  spirits,  after  his  visit  to  Soo- 
chow.  I  cross-examined  a  Church  of  England  clergyman  about 
his  converts.  When  pressed,  he  could  only  name  one  who 
seemed  to  be  conscious  of  the  want  which  we  believe  to  be 
supplied  by  the  Atonement.  About  100,  however,  including 
children,  attend  churches  in  Ningpo,  of  whom  thirty  have  been 

Ningpo  was  one  of  the  places  which  had  been  treated 
with  more  than  ordinary  severity  in  the  last  war.  It 
was  also  one  of  the  places  in  which  the  natives  showed 
the  most  friendly  disposition  towards  foreigners.  To 
the  resident  traders  the  inference  was  obvious :  the 
severity  was  the  cause  of  the  friendly  disposition,  and  it 
had  only  to  be  applied  elsewhere  to  produce  the  like 
results.  With  evident  satisfaction  Lord  Elgin  sets  him- 
self, in  an  official  despatch,  to  refute  this  reasoning. 
After  observing  that  the  natives  showed  rather  an  ex- 
aggeration than  a  defect  of  the  desire  to  live  peaceably 
with  foreigners,  he  proceeds : — 

The  state  of  Ningpo  in  this  respect  furnishes  their  favourite 
and,  perhaps,  most  plausible  argument,  to  that  class  of  persons 
who  advocate  what  is  styled  a  vigorous  policy  in  China ;  in 
other  words,  a  policy  which  consists  in  resorting  to  the  most 
violent  measures  of  coercion  and  repression  on  the  slenderest 
provocations.  They  say, '  Remember  what  happened  at  Ningpo 
'  during  the  last  war,  and  observe  the  consideration  and  respect 
'  which  is  evinced  towards  you  there.  Treat  other  towns  in 
'  China  likewise,  and  the  result  will  be  the  same.'  I  question 
the  soundness  of  this  inference.  Ningpo  is  situated  on  the 
south-eastern  verge  of  the  mighty  valley  of  the  Yang-tze-kiang, 
which  is  inhabited  by  a  population  the  most  inoffensive,  per- 
haps, both  by  disposition  and  habit,  of  any  on  the  surface  of 

NINGPO.      CIIUSAN.  233 

ic  earth.     Their  amenity  towards  the  foreigner  is  due,  I  appre- 
lend,  to  temperament,  as  much,  at  least,  as  to  the  recollection 
the  violence  which  they  may  have  sustained  at  his  hands. 
I  have  made  it  a  point,  whenever  I  have  met  missionaries  or 
lers  who  have  penetrated  into  the  interior  from  Ningpo  and 
Shanghae,  to  ask  them  what  treatment  they  experienced  on 
lose  expeditions,  and  the  answer  has  almost  invariably  been 
lat,  at  points  remote  from  those  to  which  foreigners  have! 
jcess,  there  was  no  diminution,  but  on  the  contrary  rather  an  \ 
ihancement,  of  the  courtesy  exhibited  towards  them  by  the ' 

H.  M.  S.  '  Furious.' — March  20th. — Yesterday,  I  called  on  Mission- 
clergyman  to  see  Miss  Aldersey, — a  remarkable  lady,  who  ar£  j 
came  out  here  immediately  after  the  last  war,  and  has  been  de- 
voting herself  and  her  fortune  to  the  education  and  Christian- 
isation  of  the  Chinese  at  Ningpo.  She  seems  a  nice  person,  but 
I  could  not  get  as  much  conversation  with  her  as  I  wished, 
because  the  Bishop,  &c.,  were  present  all  the  time.  She  has 
to  pay  the  girls  a  trifle,  as  an  equivalent  for  what  their  labour 
is  worth,  for  coming  to  her  school,  or  to  board  them  and  keep 
them,  as  it  is  not  at  all  in  the  ideas  of  the  Chinese  that  women 
should  be  educated.  She  does  not  seem  to  have  got  the  entree 
into  Chinese  houses  of  the  richer  class.  Mrs.  Russell  (wife  of 
the  English  clergyman),  who  speaks  the  language,  has  obtained 
it  a  little.  I  cannot  make  out  that,  when  she  visits  them,  they 
ever  talk  of  anything  except  where  she  got  her  dress,  &c. ;  but 
on  great  occasions,  when  they  assemble  for  ceremonies  in  the 
temples,  they  seem  very  devout.  In  private  they  treat  these 
matters  with  great  indifference.  I  had  some  of  the  missionaries 
to  dinner.  They  put  the  converts  at  a  larger  number  than  I 
understood  Mr.  Russell  to  do,  but  otherwise  their  report  did 
not  differ  materially  from  his. 

Chusan. — March  21st. —  This  is  a  most  charming  island.  Chusan. 
How  any  people,  in  their  senses,  could  have  preferred  Hong- 
kong to  it,  seems  incredible.  The  people  too,  that  is  to  say, 
the  lower  orders,  seem  really  to  like  us.  We  walked  through 
the  town  of  Tinghae,  and  asked  at  the  shop  of  a  seller  of  per- 
fumed sticks  for  the  '  Mosquito  tobacco,'  but  in  vain.  We 
then  passed  through  the  further  gate  of  the  city  into  the  coun- 
try beyond,  and  seeing  something  like  a  chapel,  made  towards 


it.  A  man,  dressed  as  a  Chinaman,  came  out  to  meet  us.  He 
French  addressed  us  in  French,  and  proved  to  be  a  Roman  Catholic 
™1SS1C  priest.  He  was  very  civil,  and  asked  us  into  his  house,  where 
he  gave  us  some  tea,  grown  on  his  own  farm.  He  has  been 
here  two  years  quite  alone,  and  he  was  ten  years  before  in  the 
province  of  Kiangsu.  He  says  that  he  has  some  200  converts. 
Some  twenty  boys,  deserted  children,  he  brings  up,  and  works 
on  his  farm.  I  saw  them,  and  I  must  say  I  never  beheld  a 
more  happy  and  well-conditioned  set  of  boys.  In  the  town 
was  an  establishment  for  younger  children,  chiefly  girls,  under 
the  charge  of  a  Chinese  female  convert.  After  he  had  given  us 
tea,  the  missionary  accompanied  us  in  our  walk.  He  first  took 
us  to  a  sort  of  cottage-villa,  belonging  to  one  of  the  rich  in- 
habitants, consisting  of  about  a  couple  of  acres  of  ground, 
covered  by  kiosks  and  grottos  and  dwarf-trees,  and  ups  and 
downs  and  zigzags, — all  in  the  most  approved  Chinese  fashion. 
From  thence  we  clambered  up  a  mountain  of,  I  should  think, 
some  1,200  feet  in  height,  from  which  we  had  a  very  extensive 
view,  and  beheld  ranges  of  hills,  separated  by  cosy  valleys, 
on  one  side ;  on  the  other,  the  walled  city  of  Tinghae,  sur- 
rounded by  rice-fields ;  beyond,  the  sea  studded  with  islands  of 
the  Chusan  group.  It  was  a  beautiful  view,  and  we  returned 
to  the  ship  very  much  pleased  with  our  scramble. 

Scenery.  March  2'2nd. — I  have  just  returned  from  a  walk  to  the  top 
of  a  hill,  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  flat  on  which  the  town  is 
situated  from  that  which  we  mounted  yesterday.  The  day  is 
charming,  clear,  with  a  fanning,  bracing  air.  We  had  a  finer 
view  almost  than  yesterday.  The  same  character  of  scenery 
all  round  the  island.  Spacious  flats  on  the  sea-board  under 
irrigation ;  about  one-half  of  the  fields  covered  (now)  with 
water,  and  the  other  half  in  crop,  chiefly  beans,  wheat,  and 
rape,  which,  with  its  yellow  flower,  gives  warmth  to  the  colour- 
ing of  the  landscape ;  these  flats,  fringed  by  hills  of  a  goodly 
height— say  from  600  to  1,200  feet,— which  cluster  together  as 
they  recede  from  the  sea-board,  compressing  the  flats  into 
.  narrow  valleys,  and  finally  extinguishing  them  altogether.  The 
hills  themselves  barren,  with  patches  here  and  there  of  Chinese 
cultivation  and  fir  plantations,  the  first  I  have  seen  in  China. 
Turn  your  eyes  to  the  sea,  and  you  have  before  you  innume- 
rable islands  dotting  its  surface,  the  same  in  character,  though 
smaller  in  size,  than  that  on  which  you  are  standing.  I  have 

POTOU.  235 

Idom  seen  a  more  delightful  spot.     In  going  on  our  walk,  we 

ssed  by  the  burying-ground  of  the  British  who  died  while 
occupied  the  island,  and  we   did  something  to  put  order 

long  their  neglected  graves.  On  our  return,  we  passed  by  a 
cottage  where  an  old  lady  was  seated  at  her  spinning-wheel. 
I  entered.  She  received  us  most  courteously,  placed  chairs 
for  us,  and  immediately  set  to  work  to  prepare  tea.  When 
she  found  that  one  of  the  party  was  a  doctor,  a  son  (grown  up) 
was  produced  who  was  suffering  from  ague.  We  brought  him 
on  board,  and  gave  him  some  quinine.  He  showed  us  the 
medicine  he  was  taking.  It  appeared  to  be  a  sort  of  mash  of 
bits  of  bamboo  and  all  sorts  of  vegetable  ingredients.  The 
doctor  who  tried  it  said  it  had  no  taste.  I  should  mention  that 
at  the  landing-place  we  met  some  of  the  French  missionary's 
boys,  who  brought  me  a  present  of  eggs  and  fowls  and  salad 
from  the  farm,  in  return  for  a  dollar  which  I  gave  them  yes- 
terday to  buy  cakes  withal. 

March  23rd.— We  set  off  this  morning  to  visit  Potou.1  After  Potou. 
landing  on  the  beach,  we  proceeded  along  a  spacious  paved  path 
to  a  monastery,  in  a  very  picturesque  spot  under  the  grey  granite 
hills.  We  entered  the  buildings,  which  were  like  all  other 
Buddhistic  temples — the  same  images,  &c. — and  were  soon  sur- 
rounded by  crowds  of  the  most  filthy  and  miserable-looking 
bonzes,  some  clad  in  grey  and  some  in  yellow.  All  were  very  Bonzes, 
civil,  however,  and  on  the  invitation  of  the  superior — who  had 
a  much  more  intelligent  look  than  the  rest — we  went  into  an 
apartment  at  the  side  of  the  temple  and  had  some  tea.  After  a 
short  rest  we  proceeded  on  our  way,  and  mounted  a  hill  about 
1,500  feet  in  height,  passing  by  some  more  temples  on  the  way. 
I  never  saw  human  beings  apparently  in  a  lower  condition  than 
these  bonzes,  though  some  of  the  temples  were  under  repair,  and 
on  the  whole  tolerably  cared  for.  The  view  from  the  top  of  the 
hill  was  magnificent,  and  there  was  glorious  music  here  and 
there,  from  the  sea  rolling  in  upon  the  sandy  beach.  We  met 
some  women  (not  young  ones)  going  up  the  hill  in  chairs  to 
worship  at  the  temples,  and  found,  in  some,  individuals  at  their 
devotions.  In  one  there  was  a  monk,  hidden  behind  a  great 
drum,  repeating  in  a  plaintive  tone,  over  and  over  again,  the 
name  of  Buddha,  '  ameta  fo,'  or  something  like  that  sound.  I 
observed  some  with  lumps  on  the  forehead,  evidently  produced 

1  A  sacred  island,  in  the  'sea  of  water-lilies.' 


by  knocking  it  against  the  ground.  The  utter  want  of  respect 
of  these  people  for  their  temples,  coupled  with  this  asceticism 
and  apparent  self-sacrifice  in  their  religion,  is  a  combination 
which  I  cannot  at  present  understand.  It  has  one  bad  effect, 
that  in  the  plundering  expeditions  which  we  Christians  dignify 
with  the  name  of  war  in  these  countries,  idols  are  ripped  up  in 
the  hope  of  finding  treasure  in  them,  temple  ornaments  seized, 
and  in  short  no  sort  of  consideration  is  shown  for  the  religious 
feelings  of  the  natives. 

The  following  notice  of  the  same  sacred  island  occurs 
in  one  of  his  despatches : — 

I  trust  that  I  may  be  permitted  to  offer  one  remark  in  re- 
ference to  Potou,  an  islet  adjoining  Chusan,  which  I  touched 
at  on  my  way  from  the  latter  place  to  Chapoo.  Little  inform- 
ation, of  course,  was  to  be  gathered  there  on  questions  di- 
rectly affecting  trade  or  politics,  for  it  is  a  holy  spot,  exclusively 
appropriated  to  temples  in  tinsel  and  bonzes  in  rags ;  but  it 
was  impossible  to  wander  over  it  as  I  did,  visiting  with  entire 
impunity  its  most  sacred  recesses,  without  being  forcibly  re- 
minded of  the  fact  that  one,  at  least,  of  the  obstacles  to  inter- 
course between  nations,  which  operates  most  powerfully  in 
many  parts,  especially  of  the  East,  can  hardly  be  said  to  exist 
in  China.  The  Buddhistic  faith  does  not  seem  to  excite  in  the 
popular  mind  any  bigoted  antipathy  to  the  professors  of  other 
creeds.  The  owner  of  the  humblest  dwelling  almost  invariably 
offers  to  the  foreigner  who  enters  it  the  hospitable  tea-cup, 
without  any  apparent  apprehension  that  his  guest,  by  using,  will 
defile  it;  and  priests  and  worshippers  attach  no  idea  of  pro- 
fanation to  the  presence  of  the  stranger  in  the  joss-house. 
This  is  a  fact,  as  I  humbly  conceive,  not  without  its  signifi- 
cance, when  we  come  to  consider  what  prospect  there  may  be 
of  our  being  able  to  extend  and  multiply  relations  of  commerce 
and  amity  with  this  industrious  portion  of  the  human  race. 

The  private  journal  proceeds : — 

March  24th, — We  are  gliding  through  a  perfectly  smooth 
sea,  with  islands  on  both  sides  of  us,  on  a  beautifully  calm  and 
clear  day,  warmer  than  of  late,  but  still  tart  enough  to  feel 
healthy.  We  passed  a  fleet  of  some  hundreds  of  junks,  pro- 
ceeding northward  under  convoy  of  some  lorchas  of  the '  Arrow' 

1858.  CHAPOO.      SHANGHAE.  237 

class,  carrying  flags  which  they  probably  have  no  right  to. 
These  lorchas  exact  a  sort  of  black  mail  from  the  junks,  and 
plunder  them  whenever  it  is  more  profitable  to  do  so  than  to 
protect  them.  They  often  have  Europeans  on  board.  Poor 
Yeh  has  suffered  severely  for  our  sins  in  respect  to  this  descrip- 
tion of  craft.  We  are  on  our  way  to  Chapoo  now,  a  port  not 
opened  to  trade,  but  one  which  I  am  ordered  by  the  Govern- 
ment to  induce  the  Chinese  to  open.  As  it  is  very  little  out  of 
the  way  to  Shanghae,  I  wish  to  look  at  it  in  passing. 

March  25th. — We  reached  Chapoo  at  about  5  P.M.  I  did  Chapoo. 
not  land,  but  some  of  the  party  did,  and  mounted  a  hill  from 
whence  they  looked  down  upon  a  walled  town  of  no  great  size, 
and  a  plain,  perfectly  flat,  stretching  for  any  number  of  miles 
beyond  it.  The  people,  as  usual,  were  civil,  and  made  no 
difficulties,  although  we  have  no  right  to  land  there.  The  bay 
in  which  we  anchored  is  open,  and  not  in  any  particular  way 
interesting.  At  about  three  this  morning  we  started,  and  have 
been  favoured  with  as  good  a  day  as  yesterday.  We  have  had 
nothing  of  the  bold  coasts  of  previous  days,  and  passed  occa- 
sionally islands  flatter  than  those  seen  before.  We  are  now  in 
the  mouth  of  the  Yang-tze-kiang,  with  a  perfectly  flat  and  low 
shore  on  one  side,  and  an  equally  flat  one  just  discoverable 
with  the  aid  of  the  telescope  on  the  other.  A  good  many 
junks  are  sailing  about  us,  their  dark  sails  filled  with  a  lively 
breeze.  Before  us  is  a  large  man-of-war,  which  I  am  just  told 
is  the  American  (  Minnesota.'  So  our  cruise  is  coming  to  an 
end,  which  I  regret,  as  it  has  been  a  very  pleasant  break,  and 
at  least  for  the  time  has  kept  me  out  of  reach  of  the  bothers  of 
my  mission.  We  have  reason  too  to  be  most  thankful  for  the 
weather  with  which  we  have  been  favoured,  and  if  Mr.  Reed 
is  before  me  he  cannot  complain,  as  I  am  here  on  the  very  day 
on  which  I  said  I  should  reach  Shanghae.  This  is  a  very 
strange  coast.  The  sea  seems  to  be  filling  up  with  the  de- 
posits of  the  rivers.  We  have  an  island  (inhabited)  beside  us, 
which  did  not  exist  a  few  years  ago.  We  have  not  during 
all  yesterday  and  to-day  had  ever  more  than  eight  fathoms  of 

Shanghae  had  been  named  as  the  rendezvous  for  the  Shanghae. 
Allied  Powers.     There,  as  he  had  written  to  the  Em- 
peror's Prime  Minister,  '  the  Plenipotentiaries  of  Eng- 

238  FIHST  MISSION  TO  CHINA.  Cu.  vm. 

4  land  and  France  would  be  prepared  to  enter  into 
4  negotiations  for  the  settlement  of  all  differences  ex- 
4  isting  between  their  respective  Governments  and  that 
c  of  China  with  any  Plenipotentiary,  duly  accredited  by 
4  the  Emperor,  who  might  present  himself  at  that  port 
4  before  the  end  of  the  month  of  March/  There  he  still 
fondly  hoped  to  find  his  Hercules'  Pillar.  4  If  I  can 
4  only  conclude  a  treaty  at  Shanghae,'  so  he  wrote  when 
starting  from  Canton,  4  and  hasten  home  afterwards ! ' 

The  place  was  well  chosen  for  the  purpose  ;  not  only 
as  the  most  northerly  of  the  Treaty  ports,  and  therefore 
nearest  to  the  capital,  but  also  as  the  most  flourishing 
stronghold  of  European  influence  and  civilisation  then 
existing  in  China.  4 1  was  struck,'  wrote  Lord  Elgin  in 
one  of  his  despatches,  4  by  the  thoroughly  European  ap- 
4  pearance  of  the  place ;  the  foreign  settlement,  with  its 
4  goodly  array  of  foreign  vessels,  occupying  the  fore- 
*  ground  of  the  picture;  the  junks  and  native  town  lying 
4  up  the  river,  and  dimly  perceptible  among  the  shadows 
4  of  the  background  ;  spacious  houses,  always  well,  and 
4  often  sumptuously,  furnished  ;  Europeans,  ladies  and 
4  gentlemen,  strolling  along  the  quays  ;  English  police - 
4  men  habited  as  the  London  police ;  and  a  climate  very 
4  much  resembling  that  which  I  had  experienced  in 
4  London  exactly  twelve  months  before,  created  illusions 
4  which  were  of  course  very  promptly  dissipated.' 
Message  Dissipated  too  was  the  hope  in  which  he  had  in- 
Pekin.  dulged,  of  a  speedy  termination  to  his  labours ;  for  he 
was  met  by  a  message  from  the  Prime  Minister,  that 
4  no  Imperial  Commissioner  ever  conducted  business  at 
4  Shanghae ;  that  a  new  Commissioner  had  been  sent  to 
4  Canton  to  replace  Yeh;  and  that  it  behoved  the  English 
4  Minister  to  wait  in  Canton,  and  there  make  his  arrange- 
4  ments.'  This,  of  course,  was  not  to  be  thought  of;  and 
nothing  remained  but  to  move  onwards  towards  Pekin, 
and  apply  some  more  direct  pressure  to  the  Emperor 
and  his  capital. 


March  29th. — Shanghae. — Here  I  am  in  the  Consul's  house, 
very  spacious  mansion.     The  climate,  character  of  the  rooms, 
.,  all  make  me  feel  in  Europe  again.     I  reached  this  har- 
>our  on  the  26th,  but  only  landed  to-day.     Mr.  Reed  and 
Jount  Putiatine  arrived  before  me,  but  Baron  Gros  has  not 
ret  made  his   appearance.     The  Prime  Minister  of  the  Em- 
>eror  says  that  he  cannot  write  to  me  himself,  but  sends  me  a 
lessage  through  the  Governor-General  of  the  province  to  say 
lat  a  Commissioner  has  been  sent  to  Canton  by  the  Emperor 
to  replace  Yeh,  and  that  I  must  go  there  and  settle  matters 
with  him.      This  will  never  do,   so   I   must  move   on  to  the 
mouth  of  the   Peiho.     I  am  only  waiting  for  Gros  and  the 
Admiral  before  I  start.     The   Shanghae  merchants  presented 
an  address  to  me  to-day,  and  as  I  was  obliged  to  say  some- 
thing in  reply,  I  thought  that  I  might  as  well  take  advantage 
of  the  opportunity  to  let  the  Chinese  (who  are  sure  to  get  a 
translation  of  my  answer)  know,  that  there  is  no  chance  of  my 
going  back  to  Canton.    I  also  endeavoured  to  give  the  British 
manufacturers  a  hint  that  they  must  exert  themselves  and  not 
trust  to  cannon  if  they  intend  to  get  a  market  in  China. 

The  views  to  which  he  here  refers  were  expressed  in 
his  reply  in  the  following  forcible  language : — 

In  my  communication  with  the  functionaries  of  the  Chinese  Reply  to 
Government,  I  have  been  guided  by  two  simple  rules  of  action  : 
I  have  never  preferred  a  demand  which  I  did  not  believe  to 
be  both  moderate  and  just,  and  from  a  demand  so  preferred  I 
have  never  receded.  These  principles  dictated  the  policy 
which  resulted  in  the  capture  and  occupation  of  Canton.  The 
same  principles  will  be  followed  by  me,  with  the  same  deter- 
mination, to  their  results,  if  it  should  be  necessary  to  repeat 
the  experiment  in  the  vicinity  of  the  capital  of  the  Emperor  of 

The  expectations  held  out  to  British  manufacturers  at  the 
close  of  the  last  war  between  Great  Britain  and  China,  when 
they  were  told  '  that  a  new  world  was  opened  to  their  trade  so 
'  vast  that  all  the  mills  in  Lancashire  could  not  make  stocking - 
'  stuff  sufficient  for  one  of  its  provinces,'  have  not  been  realised ;. 
and  I  am  of  opinion  that  when  force  and  diplomacy  shall  have 
done  all  that  they  can  legitimately  effect,  the  work  which  has 
to  be  accomplished  in  China  will  be  but  at  its  commencement. 


When  the  barriers  which  prevent  free  access  to  the  interior 
of  the  country  shall  have  been  removed,  the  Christian  civilisa- 
tion of  the  West  will  find  itself  face  to  face,  not  with  bar- 
barism, but  with  an  ancient  civilisation  in  many  respects  effete 
and  imperfect,  but  in  others  not  without  claims  on  our  sym- 
pathy and  respect.  In  the  rivalry  which  will  then  ensue, 
Christian  civilisation  will  have  to  win  its  way  among  a  sceptical 
and  ingenious  people,  by  making  it  manifest  that  a  faith  which 
reaches  to  Heaven  furnishes  bettefr  guarantees  for  public  and 
private  morality  than  one  which  does  not  rise  above  the  earth. 

At  the  same  time  the  machina-facturing  West  will  be  in 
presence  of  a  population  the  most  universally  and  laboriously 
manufacturing  of  any  on  the  earth.  It  can  achieve  victories 
in  the  contest  in  which  it  will  have  to  engage  only  by  proving 
that  physical  knowledge  and  mechanical  skill,  applied  to  the 
arts  of  production,  are  more  than  a  match  for  the  most  perse- 
yering  efforts  of  unscientific  industry. 

The  journal  proceeds  as  follows,  under  date  of  the 
29th  of  March  :— 

I  shall  be  a  little  curious  to  see  my  next  letters.  The 
truth  is,  that  the  whole  world  just  now  are  raving  mad  with  a 
passion  for  killing  and  slaying,  and  it  is  difficult  for  a  person 
in  his  sober  senses  like  myself  to  keep  his  own  among  them. 
However  I  shall  be  glad  to  see  what  Parliament  says  about 

Baths  for  March  30th. — Baron  Gros  arrived  to-day.  I  forgot  to  men- 
^on  *^at  ^  visited  tne  town  of  Shanghae  yesterday,  and  among 
other  things  went  into  a  bathing  establishment,  where  coolies 
were  getting  steamed  rather  than  bathed  at  rather  less  than  a 
penny  a  head,  which  penny  includes,  moreover,  a  cup  of  tea. 
So  that  these  despised  Chinamen  have  bathing-houses  for  the 
million.  With  us  they  are  a  recent  invention  :  they  have  had 
them,  I  believe,  for  centuries.  I  am  told  that  they  are  much 

Malevo-      used  by  the  labouring  class.     I  was  struck  by  an  instance  of 

wards*0"      ^e  malev°lence  towards  the  Chinese,  which  I  met  with  to-day. 

Chinese.  Baron  Gros  told  me  that  a  boat  with  some  unarmed  French 
officers  and  seamen  got  adrift  at  a  place  called  the  Cape  of 
Good  Hope,  as  he  was  coming  up  from  Hong-kong.  They 
found  themselves  off  an  island,  on  the  shore  of  which  a  crowd 
of  armed  Chinese  collected.  Their  situation  was  disagreeable 


tough.  Next  day,  however,  the  body  of  the  Chinese  dis- 
used, and  a  few  who  remained  came  forward  in  the  kindest 
lanner  offering  them  food,  &c.  They  stated  that  they  came 
lown  in  arms  to  defend  themselves,  fearing  that  they  were 
),  but  that  as  they  were  peaceful  people  they  were  glad 
serve  them.  I  have  heard  the  first  part  of  this  story  from 
other  quarters,  but  the  latter  part  was  in  both  cases 

April  3rd. — I  took  another  walk  yesterday  into  the  country,  Burial 
and  saw  a  kind  of  tower  where  dead  children,  whom  the  parents  practl 
are  too  poor  to  bury,  are  deposited.  It  is  a  kind  of  pigeon- 
house  about  twenty  feet  high,  and  the  babies  are  dropped 
through  the  pigeon-holes.  After  that  I  walked  into  a  spacious 
building  where  coffins  containing  dead  bodies  are  stored, 
awaiting  a  lucky  day  for  the  burial,  or  for  some  other  reason. 
The  coffins  are  so  substantial  and  the  place  so  well  ventilated 
that  there  was  nothing  at  all  disagreeable  in  it.  There  is  some- 
thing touching  in  the  familiarity  with  which  the  Chinese  treat 
the  dead. 

Shanghae. — Easter  Sunday. — I  have  been  at  church.  .  .  .  Roman 
In  the  afternoon  I  walked  to  the  Roman  Catholic  cathedral, 
which  is  about  three  miles  from  the  Consulate.  I  found  a 
really  handsome,  or  at  any  rate  spacious,  building,  well  de- 
corated. The  priests  were  very  civil.  They  count  80,000 
converts  (a  considerable  portion,  I  take  it,  descendants  of  the 
Christian  converts  made  by  the  missionaries  ages  ago)  in  this 
province.  It  is  impossible  to  help  contrasting  their  proceed- 
ings with  those  of  the  Protestants.  They  come  out  here  to 
pass  the  whole  of  their  lives  in  evangelising  the  heathen,  never 
think  of  home,  live  on  the  same  fare  and  dress  in  the  same 
attire  as  the  natives.  The  Protestants  (generally)  hardly 
leave  the  ports,  where  they  have  excellent  houses,  wives, 
families,  go  home  whenever  self  or  wife  is  unwell,  &c.  I 
passed  an  American  missionary's  house  yesterday.  It  was  a 
great  square  building,  situated  in  a  garden,  and  at  the  en- 
trance gate  there  was  a  modest  barn-like  edifice,  large  enough 
to  hold  about  twenty  sitters,  which  on  inquiry  I  found  to  be 
the  church.  These  people  have  excellent  situations,  good 
salaries,  so  much  for  every  child,  allowances  for  sickness, 
&c.  They  make  hardly  any  converts,  but  then  they  console 
themselves  by  saying,  that  the  Roman  Catholics  who  make  all 



these  sacrifices  do  it  from  a  bad  motive,  teach  idolatry,  &c. 
I  cannot  say,  but  I  must  admit  that  the  priests  whom  I  met 
to-day  talked  like  very  sensible  men,  and  that  the  appearance 
of  the  young  Chinamen  (seminar istes)  whom  I  saw  was  most 
satisfactory.  They  had  an  intelligent,  cheerful  look,  greatly 
superior  to  that  of  the  Roman  Catholic  seminarists  generally 
in  Europe.  The  priests  bear  testimony  to  their  aptitude  in 
learning,  their  docility  and  good  conduct.  They  have  an 
organ  in  the  cathedral,  the  pipes  of  which  are  all  made  of 
bamboo.  It  seems  to  have  an  excellent  tone. 

and  April  7th. — I  went  on  Monday  to  visit  a  college  which  the 

college.  priests  have  about  six  miles  off,  with  about  seventy  scholars. 
It  appeared  to  be  in  good  order.  I  walked  back  with  a  priest 
who  had  been  in  Canada  in  our  time.  He  was  talkative,  and 
gave  me  a  good  deal  of  information  about  the  Jesuits.  It  came 
on  to  rain  very  hard  as  we  returned,  but  we  found  our  letters 
from  home  to  reward  us  on  our  arrival.  .  .  .  No  doubt,  as  you 
say,  one  cannot  help  sometimes  regretting  that  one  is  mixed  up 
with  so  bad  a  business  as  this  in  China,  but  then  in  some 
respects  it  is  a  great  opportunity  for  doing  good,  or  at  least  for 
mitigating  evil. 

American  I  had  a  visit  to-day  from  Dr.  B.,  who  is,  I  believe,  the 
most  eminent  of  the  American  missionaries  in  China.  He 
began  by  expressing  his  gratitude  to  me  for  the  merciful  way 
in  which  matters  had  been  conducted  at  Canton,  adding  that 
they  were  bad  people,  that  they  insulted  foreigners.  He  had 
lived  among  them  fifteen  years,  and  had  never  been  insulted 
when  alone.  He  always  went  about  without  even  a  stick, 
and  they  knew  that  he  did  not  wish  to  injure  them,  &c.  I 
then  asked  him  whether  there  was  not  some  inconsistency  in 
what  he  had  said  about  their  treatment  of  himself  and  the 
epithet  'bad'  which  he  had  applied  to  them.  He  said  that 
perhaps  the  word  was  too  strong,  that  he  was  much  attached 
to  the  Chinese,  but  that  certain  classes  at  Canton  were  no 
doubt  very  hostile  to  foreigners,  and  that  the  chastisement  they 
had  received  was  quite  necessary.  I  really  believe  that  what 
Dr.  B.  said  is  pretty  nearly  the  truth  of  the  case,  and  it  is 
satisfactory  to  me  that  the  fact  that  I  laboured  to  spare  the 
people  should  be  known,  known  not  only  by  those  who  ap- 
prove, but  by  those  who  abhor  clemency. 


From  the  foregoing  and  similar  extracts,  it  will  be 
;n  how  much  interest  he  took  in  the  labours  of  the 
Lissionaries.  and  at  the  same  time  with  what  breadth 
id  calmness  of  view  he  handled  a  subject  peculiarly 
ible  to  exaggeration  on  one  side  or  the  other.  During 
lis  stay  at  Shanghae,  it  was  brought  before  him  offi- 
illy  in  the  shape  of  an  address  from  the  Protestant 
lissionaries  of  the  port,  praying  him,  in  the  first  place, 
to  obtain  a  separate  decree  of  toleration  in  favour  of 
Protestantism,  distinct  from  that  which  the  French  had 
already  obtained  for  the  'Religion  of  the  Lord  of  Heaven; ' 
and,  in  the  second  place,  to  procure  for  them  greater 
liberty  of  travelling  and  preaching  in  all  parts  of  China. 
His  reply  contained  words  of  grave  warning,  which 
have  a  special  interest  when  read  by  the  light  of  recent 
events.  After  saying  that  4  it  certainly  appeared  to 
4  him  to  be  reasonable  and  proper  that  the  professors  of 
'  different  Christian  denominations  should  be  placed  in 
4  China  on  a  footing  of  equality,'  he  proceeded  as  fol- 
lows : — 

I  should  be  wanting  in  candour,  however,  if  I  were  not  to  Reply  to 
state  that,  in  my  opinion,  the  demands  which  you  prefer  in-  pro£estant 
volve,  in  some  of  their  details  and  consequences,  questions  of  mission- 
considerable  nicety. 

Christian  nations  claim  for  their  subjects  or  citizens,  who  so- 
journ in  the  East  under  heathen  Governments,  privileges  of 
exterritoriality.  They  are  bound,  therefore,  when  they  seek 
tD  extend  their  rights  of  residence  and  occupation,  to  take  care 
that  those  exceptional  privileges  be  not  abused,  to  the  preju- 
dice of  the  countries  conceding  them. 

I  cannot  say  that  I  think  that  the  Christian  nations  who  have 
established  a  footing  in  China,  under  the  sanction  of  treaty 
stipulations  obtained  by  others,  or  in  virtue  of  agreements 
made  directly  by  the  Chinese  Governments  with  themselves, 
have  in  all  cases  duly  recognised  this  obligation. 

Unless  I  am  greatly  misinformed,  many  vile  and  reckless 
men,  protected  by  the  privileges  to  which  I  have  referred,  and 
still  more  by  the  terror  which  British  prowess  has  inspired,  are 

B  2 


now  infesting  the  coasts  of  China.  It  may  be  that  for  the 
moment  they  are  able,  in  too  many  cases,  to  perpetrate  tKe 
worst  crimes  with  impunity ;  but  they  bring  discredit  on  the 
Christian  name;  inspire  hatred  of  the  foreigner  where  no  such 
hatred  exists ;  and,  as  some  recent  instances  prove,  teach  occa- 
sionally to  the  natives  a  lesson  of  vengeance,  which,  when  once 
learnt,  may  not  always  be  applied  with  discrimination. 

But  if  the  extension  of  the  privileges  of  foreigners  in  China 
involves  considerations  of  nicety,  still  more  delicate  are  the 
questions  which  arise  when  it  is  proposed  to  confer  by  treaty 
on  foreign  Powers  the  right  to  interfere  on  behalf  of  natives 
who  embrace  their  religion.  It  is  most  right  and  fitting  that 
Chinamen  espousing  Christianity  should  not  be  persecuted.  It 
is  most  wrong  and  most  prejudicial  to  the  real  interests  of  the 
Faith  that  they  should  be  tempted  to  put  on  a  hypocritical 
profession  in  order  to  secure  thereby  the  advantages  of  ab- 
normal protection. 







THE  establishment  of  the  principle  of  direct  commu- 
nication with  the  Imperial  Government  at  the  capital 
had  always  been  regarded  as  one  of  the  most  important 
objects  of  Lord  Elgin's  mission.  When,  therefore,  in 
reply  to  his  letter  addressed  to  the  Prime  Minister, 
there  came  an  answer  from  a  provincial  officer,  he  re- 
turned it  at  once,  and  wrote  again  to  the  Prime  Minister, 
pointing  out  that,  by  refusing  to  correspond  with  him 
directly,  the  Minister  had  broken  the  existing  treaty,  by 
which  it  was  agreed  that  '  Her  Britannic  Majesty's 
c  Chief  High  Officer  shall  correspond  with  the  Chinese 
4  High  Officers,  both  at  the  capital  and  in  the  provinces, 
4  under  the  term  "  communication;  "  '  and  announcing 
that  he  should  proceed  at  once  to  the  North,  in  order 
that  he  might  place  himself  in  more  immediate  commu- 
nication with  the  High  Officers  of  the  Imperial  Govern- 
ment at  the  capital.  Accordingly,  he  arranged  with 
Baron  Gros  that  they  should  meet  in  the  Gulf  of  Pecheli, 
at  the  mouth  of  the  Peiho,  backed  by  their  respective 
fleets,  and  with  the  moral  support  of  the  presence  of  the 
Eussian  and  American  Plenipotentiaries. 

In  carrying  out  these  plans  everything  depended,  in 
his  judgment,  on  acting  promptly  ;  and  he  was  there- 
fore most  desirous  that  the  supporting  force  should 

246  FIRST   MISSION   TO   CHINA.  On.  IX. 

collect  at  once  at  the  appointed  spot,  and  that  it  should 
include  a  considerable  number  of  gunboats  of  light 
draught,  capable  of  passing  over  the  mud-banks  which 
form  a  bar  at  the  mouth  of  the  Peiho  river.  In  this, 
however,  he  was  disappointed,  and  many  weeks  elapsed 
before  any  vigorous  measures  could  be  taken.  The 
delay,  as  may  be  supposed,  caused  him  much  annoyance 
and  anxiety  at  the  time  ;  and  he  especially  regretted  it 
afterwards,  because  it  prevented  him  from  personally 
visiting  Pekin,  as  he  might  have  done  at  this  time  under 
circumstances  peculiarly  favourable ;  and  thus  left  the 
delicate  question  of  access  to  the  capital  to  be  settled 
by  his  successor,  with  no  such  advantage.1 

Advance  H.M.S.  'Furious?  at  sea. — April  llth. — Here  we  are,  gliding 
*J  fke  through  the  smoothest  possible  sea,  with  a  gentle  wind,  and 
this  time  favourable,  which  relieves  us  of  all  the  smoke  and 
ashes  of  the  funnel, — an  advantage  for  our  eyes  as  well  as  con- 
ducive to  our  comfort.  We  are  in  the  midst  of  the  Yellow 
Sea,  going  about  eight  knots,  dragging  a  gunboat  astern  to 
save  her  coal.  This  is  the  only  gunboat  I  have  got.  I  trust, 
both  on  private  and  public  grounds,  that  we  may  succeed, 
because  otherwise  the  consummation  might  be  put  off  for  a 
year,  or  at  least  till  the  autumn,  and  God  knows  what  might 
happen  in  the  interval.  The  Russian  Plenipotentiary,  with 
his  own  small  vessel — dragging  behind  him,  however,  a  junk 
well  laden  with  coals  and  provisions — sailed  the  day  before 
me.  I  followed  on  the  10th  (yesterday).  The  French  and 
American  are  to  follow.  It  is  amusing  to  see  how  we  play 
our  parts.  Putiatine  and  I  are  always  together,  visiting 
every  port,  looking  into  everything  with  our  own  eyes.  Our 
colleagues,  with  their  big  ships,  arrive  sooner  or  later  at  the 
great  places  of  rendezvous. 

1  Those  who  remember  the  some-  having  no  desire  to  rake  up  an  ex- 

what  angry  discussion  which   arose  tinct  controversy   which   he  would 

afterwards    about    this     delay,    its  have  been  the  last  to  wish  to  see 

causes  and  its  consequences,  may  be  revived,  and  respecting  which  they 

struck  with  the  fact  that  the  subject  have   nothing  to    add   to— as   they 

is  scarcely  alluded  to  in  any  of  the  have   nothing  to  withdraw  from— 

extracts  here  given.     The  omission  what  he  himself  stated  in  the  House 

is  intentional :  Lord  Elgin's  friends  of  Lords  on  February  21,  1860. 


April  13M,   Nine  P.M. — We  had  an  adventure  this  after-  Aground. 
>on.     I  was  on  the  paddle-box  bridge  watching,  as  we  passed 
itween  the  town  of  Tung-Chow  Foo  (a  long  wall,  as  it  seemed, 
retching  for  about  four  miles,  with  a  temple  at  the  nearest 
id)  and  the  island  of  Meantau,  when  I  felt  a  shock, — and,  be- 
>ld !  we  were  aground.     Our  gunboat,  which  we  towed,  not 
ig  able  to  check  its  speed  at  a  moment's  notice,  ran  foul  of 
and  we  both  suffered  a  little  in  the  scuffle.     We  got  off  in 
mt  two  hours.    On  the  whole,  I  am  rather  glad  that  we  have 
gunboat  with  us,  for  if  anything  serious  did  happen,  it  would 
be  rather  awkward,  under  existing  circumstances,  to  be  cast 
on  the  coast  of  China.     It  is  as  well  to  have  two  strings  to 
one's  bow. 

April  \$th. — This  morning  it  was  thick  and  pretty  rough. 
It  is  now  (4  P.M.)  very  bright  and  comparatively  smooth. 
We  have  seen  no  land  to-day,  nor,  indeed,  anything  but  sea 
and  a  few  junks.  Shall  we  meet  any  vessels  at  the  rendez- 
vous ?  A  few  hours  will  tell. 

April  15th. — We  saw,  at  about  5  P.M.  yesterday,  the  Theren- 
Russian  at  anchor,  and  went  towards  her,  but  were  after-  dezvous- 
wards  obliged  to  remove  to  some  distance,  as  we  had  not  water 
enough  where  she  is.  While  we  were  going  to  our  berth,  the 
'  Pique '  came  in  sight.  So  here  we  are — ( Pique' '  Furious  '  and 
( Slaney '  (gunboat),  in  an  open  sea,  land  not  even  visible.  Cap- 
tain Osborn  started  off  this  morning,  in  the  gunboat,  to  sound 
and  find  out  what  chance  we  have  of  getting  over  the  bar  at 
the  mouth  of  the  Peiho.  Putiatine  came  on  board  this  morn- 
ing. He  has  sent  to  the  shore  a  note  announcing  his  arrival. 
I  am  not  disposed  to  do  anything  of  the  kind.  The  best  plan, 
as  it  appears  to  me,  is  to  move  steadily  up  the  river  as  soon  as 
we  can  get  over  the  bar,  and  let  the  Chinese  stop  us  if  they 
dare.  Putiatine  says  that  he  will  follow  me,  if  I  pass  without 
any  resistance  being  offered,  but  that  he  must  not  go  first, 
as  his  Government  forbids  him  to  provoke  hostilities.  This 
division  of  labour  suits  me  very  well. 

April  19th. — I  have  nothing  to  write  about.  You  may 
imagine  what  it  is  to  be  at  anchor  in  this  gulf  with  nothing  to 
do.  ...  If  I  had  had  my  gunboats,  I  might  have  been  up  the 
Peiho  ere  this.  I  might  perhaps  have  brought  the  Emperor 
to  his  senses.  .  .  .  Meanwhile  Reed  is  arrived.  Gros  is  last, 
but  he  is  bringing  his  Admiral  and  force  with  him. 


April  2\st. — Gros  arrived  last  evening.  He  is  very  well 
disposed,  and  ready  to  act  with  me.  The  French  Admiral 
may  be  expected  any  day.  We  are  going  to  make  a  com- 
munication to  Pekin  to  invite  a  Plenipotentiary  to  meet  us 
here,  as  we  cannot  go  up  to  Tientsin. 

About  a  week  afterwards  the  bar  was  crossed ;  but 
it  was  not  until  three  more  weeks  had  passed  that  the 
forts  at  the  mouth  of  the  river  were  taken,  in  order  to 
secure  the  passage  of  the  Envoys  up  to  Tientsin. 

Taking  of  May  2Ist. — I  have  spent  during  the  last  three  weeks  the 
the  forts.  worst  time  I  have  passed  since  1849,  and  really  I  have  not 
been  capable  of  writing.  The  forts  were  taken  yesterday. 
The  Chinese  had  had  several  weeks  to  prepare,  and  their 
moral  was  greatly  raised  by  our  hesitations  and  delays.  The 
poor  fellows  even  stood  at  their  guns  and  fired  away  pretty 
steadily.  But  as  they  hardly  ever  hit,  it  is  of  very  little  con- 
sequence how  much  they  fire.  As  soon  as  our  men  landed 
they  abandoned  the  forts  and  ran  off  in  all  directions.  We 
have  hardly  had  any  loss,  I  believe ;  but  the  French,  who 
blundered  a  good  deal  with  their  gunboats,  and  then  contrived 
to  get  blown  up  by  setting  fire  to  a  powder  magazine,  have  suf- 
fered pretty  severely.  I  fancy  that  we  have  got  almost  all  the 
artillery  which  the  Chinese  Empire  possesses  in  this  quarter. 
.  .  .  This  affair  of  yesterday,  in  a  strategical  point  of  view, 
was  a  much  more  creditable  affair  than  the  taking  of  Canton. 
J  Our  gunboats  and  men  appear  to  have  done  well,  and  though 
they  were  opposed  to  poor  troops,  still  they  were  troops,  and 
not  crowds  of  women  and  children,  who  were  the  victims  of  the 
bombardment  at  Canton. 

May  22nd.— Would  that  you  had  been  a  true  prophet  I 
Yet  there  is  something  of  inspiration  in  your  writing  on  the 
1st  of  March :  ( I  was  fancying  you  even  now,  perhaps,  ascend- 
ing the  Peiho  with  a  train  of  gunboats ! ' 

May  23rd— These  wretched  Chinese  are  for  the  most  part 
unarmed.  When  they  are  armed,  they  have  no  notion  of 
directing  their  firearms.  They  are  timorous,  and  without  either 
tactics  or  discipline.  I  will  venture  to  say  that  twenty- four 
determined  men,  with  revolvers  and  a  sufficient  number  of 
cartridges,  might  walk  through  China  from  one  end  to  another. 
May  25th. — No  news  since  I  began  this  letter,  except  a 

L858.  TAKING   OF  THE  FORTS.  249 

'ague  report  that  the  Admirals  are  moving  up  the  river  slowly, 
leeting  with  no  resistance,  rather  a  friendly  reception,  from  the 
>ple.    I  am  surprised  that  we  have  not  yet  heard  anything 
)m  Pekin.     I  hope  the  Emperor  will  not  fly  to  Tartary, 
>ecause  that  would  be  a  new  perplexity.     I  am  not  quite  in 
such  bad  spirits  as  last  week,  because  at  least  now  there  is 
)ine  chance  of  our  getting  this  miserable  war  finished,  and 
lus  of  my  obtaining  my  liberty  again.  .  .  .  We  ought  to  have 
mail  from  England  any  day.   .  .  .  Changes  of  Government 
ive  this  inconvenience,  that  of  course  the  new-comers  cannot 
>ssibly  take  time  to  read  over  previous  correspondence,  so 
lat  they  must  be  but  partially  informed  on  many  points,  .  .  . 
>ut  no  doubt  at  this  distance  it  is  practically  impossible  for 
rovernment  to  give  instructions,  and   all  the  responsibility 
mst  rest  on  the  agent  on  the  spot.     At  this  moment,  when  I 
ana  moving  up  to  Pekin,  I  am  receiving  the  despatches  of  the 
Government  commenting  upon  the  Canton  proceedings,  and 
asking  me :  What  do  you  intend  to  do  next  ? 

May  27th. — I  have  been  pacing  the  deck  looking  at  the 
dancing  waves  sparkling  under  a  bright  full  moon.  It  is  the 
third  time,  I  think,  that  I  have  seen  it  since  I  have  been  in 
this  gulf.  I  had  a  message  last  night  late  from  the  Admiral, 
stating  that  he  is  within  two  miles  of  Tientsin  I  I  sent 
Frederick  up  that  he  might  see  what  is  going  on,  and  let  me 
know  when  I  ought  to  advance.  I  had  also  a  communication 
from  the  Chinese  Plenipotentiaries,  but  it  was  not  of  much 
importance.  I  do  not  think  that  these  poor,  timorous  people 
have  any  notion  of  resisting.  I  only  trust  that  they  may  make 
up  their  minds  to  concede  what  is  requisite  at  once,  and  enable 
us  all  to  have  done  with  it. 

May  28th. — The  last  news  from  Canton  shows  that  the  kind 
of  panic  which  had  been,  in  my  opinion  most  needlessly,  got 
up,  is  subsiding,  and  the  General  has  sent  up  a  few  men — for 
which  I  ought  to  thank  him,  as  he  had  only  been  asked 
whether  he  could  supply  any  if  wanted. 

May  29th. — I  have  a  short  despatch  from  the  new  Govern- 
ment, giving  me  latitude  to  do  anything  I  choose  if  I  will  only 
finish  the  affair.  Meanwhile  Frederick  writes  from  Tientsin 
to  recommend  me  to  proceed  thither,  and  I  intend  to  be  off  this 
afternoon.  There  appears  to  be  on  the  part  of  the  Chinese  no 
attempt  at  resistance,  but  on  the  other  hand  no  movement  to 

250  FIRST   MISSION  TO   CHINA.  Cn.  IX. 

treat.  This  passivity  is,  of  course,  our  danger,  and  it  is  one 
which  slowness  on  our  part  tends  to  increase.  However,  we 
must  hope  for  the  best. 

Yamun,  Tientsin.— May  30th.— Only  look  at  my  date,  does 
it  not  astonish  you?  I  hardly  yet  realise  to  myself  where  I 
am.  I  started  at  about  4.30  P.M.  yesterday  from  the  (  Furious,' 
crossed  the  bar,  at  the  forts  at  the  entrance  of  the  river,  picked 
up  Gros  and  the  French  mission,  whose  vessel  could  not  get 

On  the  on,  and  moved  on  to  this  place.  The  night  was  lovely — a 
moon  nearly  full.  The  banks,  perfectly  flat  and  treeless  at 
first,  became  fringed  with  mud  villages,  silent  as  the  grave, 
and  trees  standing  like  spectres  over  the  stream.  There  we 
went  ceaselessly  on  through  this  silvery  silence,  panting  and 
breathing  flame.  Through  the  night-watches,  when  no  China- 
man moves,  when  the  junks  cast  anchor,  we  laboured  on, 
cutting  ruthlessly  and  recklessly  through  the  waters  of  that 
glancing  and  startled  river,  which,  until  within  the  last  few 
weeks,  no  stranger  keel  had  ever  furrowed  !  Whose  work  are 
we  engaged  in,  when  we  burst  thus  with  hideous  violence  and 
brutal  energy  into  these  darkest  and  most  mysterious  recesses 
of  the  traditions  of  the  past?  I  wish  I  could  answer  that 
question  in  a  manner  satisfactory  to  myself.  At  the  same 
time,  there  is  certainly  not  much  to  regret  in  the  old  civilisa- 
tion which  we  are  thus  scattering  to  the  winds.  A  dense 
population,  timorous  and  pauperised,  such  would  seem  to  be 
its  chief  product.  I  passed  most  of  the  night  on  deck,  and 
at  about  4  A.M.  we  reached  a  point  in  the  centre  of  the 

Tientsin,  g^rb  of  Tientsin,  at  which  the  Great  Canal  joins  the  Tien- 
tsin or  Peiho  river.  There  I  found  the  Admirals,  Frederick, 
&c.  Frederick  had  got  this  yamun  for  us,  half  of  which  I 
have  had  to  give  to  my  French  colleague.  It  consists  of  a 
number  of  detached  rooms,  scattered  about  a  garden.  I  have 
installed  myself  in  the  joss-house,  my  bedroom  being  on  one 
side,  and  my  sitting-room  on  the  other,  of  the  idol's  altar.  We 
have  a  letter  informing  us  that  the  Emperor  has  named  two 
great  Officers  of  State  to  come  here  and  treat,  and  our  Admirals 
are  in  very  good  humour,  so  that  matters  look  well  for  the 

June  1st. — I  found  my  joss-house  so  gloomy  and  low,  that  I 
have  returned  to  my  first  quarter  in  the  garden,  on  a  mound 
overlooking  the  river.  It  consists  of  a  single  room,  part  of 





which  is  screened  off  by  a  curtain  for  a  bedroom.  It  is  hot 
luring  the  day,  but  nothing  much  to  complain  of.  I  took  a 
walk  yesterday.  The  country  is  quite  flat,  cultivated  in  wheat, 
millet,  &c.  Instead  of  the  footpaths  of  the  southern  parts  of 
China,  there  are  roads  for  carriages,  and  wheeled  carts  dragged 
by  mules  in  tandem  going  along  them.  I  have  not  been  in  the 
town,  but  some  of  the  party  were  there  this  morning,  and  one 
had  his  pocket  picked,  which  is  a  proof  of  civilisation.  They 
say  it  is  a  poor  place,  the  people  stupid-looking  and  curious, 
but  not  as  yet  unfriendly. 

June  4th. —  I  am  to  have  an  interview  with  the  Chinese 
Plenipotentiaries  to-day.  I  devoutly  hope  it  may  lead  to  a 
speedy  and  satisfactory  pacific  settlement ;  but  I  am  sending 
to  Hong-kong  for  troops,  in  order  to  be  prepared  for  all 
eventualities.  In  sum,  my  policy  has  resulted  in  this : — I 
have  complete  military  command  of  the  capital  of  China, 
without  having  broken  off  relations  with  the  neutral  Powers, 
and  without  having  interrupted,  for  a  single  day,  our  trade  at 
the  different  ports  of  the  empire. 

Tientsin. — June  5th. — After  sending  off  your  letter  yester-  Negotia- 
day,  I  went  to  have  my  first  official  interview  with  the  Chinese 
Plenipotentiaries.  I  made  up  my  mind,  disgusting  as  the  part 
is  to  me,  to  act  the  role  of  the  ( uncontrollably  fierce  barbarian,' 
as  we  are  designated  in  some  of  the  confidential  reports  to  the 
Chinese  Government  which  have  oome  into  our  hands.  These 
stupid  people,  though  they  cannot  resist,  and  hardly  even 
make  a  serious  attempt  to  do  so,  never  yield  anything  except 
under  the  influence  of  fear ;  and  it  is  necessary  therefore  to 
them  feel  that  one  is  in  earnest,  and  that  they  have 
nothing  for  it  but  to  give  way.  Accordingly  I  got  a  guard  of 
150  marines  and  the  band  of  the  '  Calcutta,'  and  set  off  with  all 
my  suite  in  chairs,  tambour  battantyfoY  the  place  of  rendezvous. 
It  was  about  two-and-a-half  miles  off,  and  the  heat  of  the  sun 
very  great.  The  road  carried  us  through  several  narrow  streets 
of  the  suburb,  then  across  a  plain,  till  we  reached  a  temple  at 
which  the  Plenipotentiaries  were  awaiting  us.  A  dense  crowd 
of  Chinese  men — I  saw  not  one  woman — lined  the  route. 
Curiosity  chiefly  was  depicted  on  their  countenances  ;  some 
looked  frightened;  but  I  observed  no  symptoms  of  ill-will. 
At  the  entrance  of  the  temple  were  two  blind  musicians,  play- 
ing something  like  squeaking  bagpipes.  This  was  the  Chinese 

252  FIRST   MISSION  TO   CHINA.  Cn.  IX, 

band.  We  marched  in  with  all  our  force,  which  drew  up  in  a 
sort  of  court  before  an  open  verandah,  where  refreshments  were 
set  out,  and  the  dignitaries  awaited  us.  I  was  received  by  the 
Imperial  Commissioner,  and  conducted  to  a  seat  at  a  small 
table  covered  with  little  plates  of  sweetmeats,  &c.  One  of  the 
Chinese  Plenipotentiaries  sat  on  either  side  of  me.  It  was  a 
very  pretty  scene,  and  the  place  was  decorated  in  very  good 
taste  with  flowers,  &c.  As  my  neighbours  showed  no  disposi- 
tion to  talk,  I  began  by  asking  after  their  health  and  that  of 
the  Emperor.  They  then  said  that  they  had  received  the  Em- 
peror's orders  to  come  down  to  treat  of  our  affairs.  I  answered, 
that  although  I  was  much  grieved  by  the  neglect  of  the  Prime 
Minister  to  answer  the  letters  I  had  addressed  to  him,  yet  as 
they  had  on  their  cards  stated  that  they  had  '  full  powers,'  I 
had  consented  to  have  this  interview  in  order  that  we  might 
compare  our  powers,  and  see  whether  we  could  treat  together. 
I  told  them  that  I  had  brought  mine,  and  I  at  once  exhibited 
them,  giving  them  a  translation  of  the  documents.  They  said 
they  had  not  powers  of  the  same  kind,  but  a  decree  of  the 
Emperor  appointing  them,  and  they  brought  out  a  letter  which 
was  wrapped  up  in  a  sheet  of  yellow  paper.  The  chief  Pleni- 
potentiary rose  and  raised  the  paper  reverentially  over  his  head 
before  unfolding  it.  I  thought  the  terms  of  this  document 
rather  ambiguous,  besides  which  I  was  desirous  to  produce  a 
certain  effect ;  so  when  it  had  been  translated  to  me,  I  said  that 
I  was  not  sufficiently  satisfied  with  it  to  be  able  to  say  on  the 
spot  whether  I  could  treat  with  them  or  not ;  that  I  would,  if 
they  pleased,  take  a  copy  of  it  and  consider  the  matter ;  but 
that  I  would  not  enter  upon  business  with  them  at  present. 
So  saying  I  rose,  moved  to  the  front  of  the  stage,  and  ordered 
the  escort  to  move  and  the  chairs  to  be  brought,  This  put  the 
poor  people  into  a  terrible  fluster.  They  made  great  efforts  to 
induce  me  to  sit  down  again,  but  I  acted  the  part  of  the  '  un- 
'  controllably  fierce  '  to  perfection,  and  set  off  for  my  abode.  I 
had  hardly  reached  it  when  I  received  two  cards  from  my  poor 
mandarins,  thanking  me  for  having  gone  so  far  to  meet  them,  &c. 
June  12th. — I  have  gone  through  a  good  deal  since  we 
parted.  Certainly  I  have  seen  more  to  disgust  me  with  my 
fellow-countrymen  than  I  saw  during  the  whole  course  of  my 
previous  life,  since  I  have  found  them  in  the  East  among 
populations  too  timid  to  resist  and  too  ignorant  to  complain. 

1858.  NEGOTIATIONS.  253 

have  an  instinct  in  me  which  loves  righteousness  and  hates 
tiquity,  and  all  this  keeps  me  in  a  perpetual  boil. 

June  29th. — I  have  not  written  for  some  days,  but  they 
have  been  busy  ones.  .  .  .  We  went  on  fighting  and  bullying, 
and  getting  the  poor  Commissioners  to  concede  one  point  after 
another,  till  Friday  the  25th,  when  we  had  reason  to  believe 
ill  was  settled,  and  that  the  signature  was  to  take  place  on  the 
following  day.  .  .  .  On  Friday  afternoon,  however,  Baron 
Gros  came  to  me  with  a  message  from  the  Russian  and  Ame- 
rican Ministers,  to  induce  me  to  recede  from  two  of  my 
demands  —  1.  A  resident  minister  at  Pekin;  and,  2.  Permis- 
sion to  our  people  to  trade  in  the  interior  of  China ;  because, 
as  they  said,  the  Chinese  Plenipotentiaries  had  told  them  that 
they  had  received  a  decree  from  the  Emperor,  stating  that  they 
should  infallibly  lose  their  heads  if  they  gave  way  on  these 
points.  .  .  .  The  resident  minister  at  Pekin  I  consider  far  the 
most  important  matter  gained  by  the  Treaty  ;  the  power  to 
trade  in  the  interior  hardly  less  so.  ...  I  had  at  stake  not 
only  these  important  points  in  my  treaty,  for  which  I  had 
fought  so  hard,  but  I  know  not  what  behind.  For  the  Chinese 
are  such  fools,  that  it  was  impossible  to  tell,  if  we  gave  way  on 
one  point,  whether  they  would  not  raise  difficulties  on  every 
other.  I  sent  for  the  Admiral ;  gave  him  a  hint  that  there 
was  a  great  opportunity  for  England ;  that  all  the  Powers  were 
deserting  me  on  a  point  which  they  had  a//,  in  their  original 
applications  to  Pekin,  demanded,  and  which  they  all  intended 
to  claim  if  I  got  it ;  that  therefore  we  had  it  in  our  power  to 
claim  our  place  of  priority  in  the  East,  by  obtaining  this  when 
others  would  not  insist  on  it  ?  Would  he  back  me  ?  ...  This 
was  the  forenoon  of  Saturday,  26th.  The  Treaty  was  to  be 
signed  in  the  evening.  I  may  mention,  as  a  proof  of  the  state 
of  people's,  minds,  that  Admiral  Seymour  told  me  that  the 
French  Admiral  had  urged  him  to  dine  with  him,  assuring 
him  that  no  Treaty  would  be  signed  that  day !  Well,  I  sent 
Frederick  to  the  Imperial  Commissioners,  to  tell  them  that  I  was 
indignant  beyond  all  expression  at  their  having  attempted  to 
communicate  with  me  through  third  parties ;  that  I  was  ready  to 
sign  at  once  the  Treaty  as  it  stood ;  but  that,  if  they  delayed  or 
retracted,  I  should  consider  negotiations  at  an  end,  go  to  Pekin, 
and  demand  a  great  deal  more,  &c.  .  .  .  Frederick  executed  this  Treaty 
most  difficult  task  admirably,  and  at  6  P.M.  I  signed  the  Treaty  Slgned' 


of  Tientsin.  ...  I  am  now  anxiously  waiting  some  communi- 
cation from  Pekin.  Till  the  Emperor  accepts  the  Treaty,  I 
shall  hardly  feel  safe.  Please  God  he  may  ratify  without 
delay  I  I  am  sure  that  I  express  the  wish  just  as  much  in  the 
interest  of  China  as  in  ours.  Though  I  have  been  forced  to 
act  almost  brutally,  I  am  China's  friend  in  all  this. 

Articles  of  It  may  be  well  here  to  recapitulate  the  chief  articles 
eaty.  ^  ^e  Treaty  thus  concluded,  which  may  be  briefly 
summed  up  as  follows  : — 

The  Queen  of  Great  Britain  to  be  at  liberty,  if  she 
see  fit,  to  appoint  an  Ambassador,  who  may  reside  per- 
manently at  Pekin,  or  may  visit  it  occasionally,  at  the 
option  of  the  British  Government; 

Protestants  and  Koman  Catholics  to  be  alike  entitled 
to  the  protection  of  the  Chinese  authorities ; 

British  subjects  to  be  at  liberty  to  travel  to  all  parts 
of  the  interior,  under  passports  issued  by  their  Consuls ; 

British  ships  to  be  at  liberty  to  trade  upon  the  Great 
Kiver  (Yangtze)  ; 

Five  additional  ports  to  be  opened  to  trade ; 

The  Tariff  fixed  by  the  Treaty  of  Nankin  to  be 
revised ; 

British  subjects  to  have  the  option  of  clearing  their 
goods  of  all  transit  duties  by  payment  of  a  single 
charge,  to  be  calculated  as  nearly  as  possible  at  the  rate 
of  24  per  cent,  ad  valorem  ; 

The  character  T  (Barbarian)  to  be  no  longer 
applied  in  official  documents  to  British  subjects ; 

The  Chinese  to  pay  2,000,000  taels  (about  650,000/.) 
\  for  losses  at  Canton,  and  an  equal  sum  for  the  expenses 
of  the  war. 

f£am<xie-  In  bring™g  this  Treaty  to  a  conclusion  Lord  Elgin 
ration.  might  have  said  of  himself  as  truly  as  of  the  brother 
who  had  so  ably  helped  him  in  arranging  its  terms,  that 
he  c  felt  very  sensibly  the  painfulness  of  the  position  of 
*  a  negotiator,  who  has  to  treat  with  persons  who  yield 
4  nothing  to  reason  and  everything  to  fear,  and  who  are 

THE   TREATY.  255 

tlie  same  time  profoundly  ignorant  both  of  the  sub- 
iects  under  discussion  and  of  their  own  real  interests.' 
Moreover  he  had  constantly  to  recollect  that,  under  the 
lost  favoured  nation '  clause,  every  concession  made 
British  subjects  would  be  claimed  by  the  subjects,  or 
>ersons  calling  themselves  the  subjects,  of  other  Powers, 
>y  whom  they  were  only  too  likely  to  be  employed  for 
te  promotion  of  rebellion  and  disorder  within  the 
ipire,  or  for  the  establishment  of  privileged  smug- 
gling and  piracy  along  its  coasts  and  up  its  rivers.  In 
all  these  circumstances  he  saw  grounds  for  exercising 
forbearance  and  moderation ;  and  his  forbearance  and 
moderation  were  rewarded  by  the  readiness  with  which 
the  Emperor  sanctioned  the  Treaty,  and  the  amicable 
manner  in  which  its  details  were  subsequently  settled. 
One  exception  there  was  to  this  moderation  on  his  part,  Right  of 
and  to  this  readiness  on  theirs  ;  viz.  his  insisting, 
against  the  earnest  remonstrances  of  the  Imperial  Com-  sador 
mission ers,  backed  by  the  intercession  of  the  Russian 
and  American  envoys,  on  the  right  of  sending  an  am- 
bassador to  Pekin.  But  it  was  an  exception  of  that 
kind  which  is  said  to  prove  the  rule ;  for  the  stipulation 
was  one  which  could  not  lead  to  abuses,  and  which 
would  be  conducive,  as  he  believed,  in  the  highest 
degree  to  the  true  interests  of  both  the  contracting 
parties.  He  was  convinced  that  so  long  as  the  system 
of  entrusting  the  conduct  of  foreign  affairs  to  a  Pro- 
vincial Government  endured,  there  could  be  no  security 
for  the  maintenance  of  pacific  relations.  On  the  one 
hand  the  Provincial  Governors  were  entirely  without 
any  sentiment  of  nationality,  caring  for  nothing  but  the 
interests  of  their  own  provinces :  nor  were  they  in  a 
position  to  exercise  any  independence  of  judgment, 
their  lives  and  fortunes  being  absolutely  at  the  disposal 
of  a  jealous  Government,  so  that  it  was  generally 
their  most  prudent  course  to  allow  any  abuses  to  pass 
unnoticed  rather  than  risk  their  heads  by  reporting 



CH.  IX. 

to  be 
kept  in 

unwelcome  truths.  On  the  other  hand  the  central 
Government,  in  which  alone  a  national  feeling  and  an 
independent  judgment  were  to  be  looked  for,  was  pro- 
foundly ignorant  on  all  questions  of  foreign  policy, 
and  must  continue  to  be  so  as  long  as  the  Department 
for  Foreign  Affairs  was  established  in  the  provinces. 
For  these  reasons  he  regarded  the  principle  that  a 
British  minister  might  henceforth  reside  at  Pekin,  and 
hold  direct  intercourse  with  imperial  ministers  at  the 
capital,  as  being,  of  all  the  concessions  in  the  Treaty, 
the  one  pregnant  with  the  most  important  conse- 

But,  the  right  once  secured,  he  was  very  desirous 
that  it  should  be  exercised  with  all  possible  consider- 
ation for  the  long-cherished  prejudices  of  the  Chinese 
on  the  subject,  who  looked  forward  with  the  utmost 
horror  to  the  invasion  of  their  capital  by  foreign 
ministers,  with  their  wives  and  establishments ;  these 
latter  being,  as  it  appeared,  in  their  eyes  more  formid- 
able than  the  ministers  themselves.  Accordingly,  when 
the  Imperial  Commissioners  addressed  to  him  a  very 
temperate  and  respectful  communication,  urging  that 

1  Another  article  of  the  Treaty, 
though  of  less  importance  in  itself, 
has  been  brought  by  recent  events 
into  so  much  prominence  that  it  may 
be  desirable  to  give  in  full  the  views 
of  its  author  respecting  it.  In  his 
despatch  of  July  12,  having  men- 
tioned, as  one  of  the  principal  com- 
mercial advantages  obtained  by  Bri- 
tish subjects,  the  settlement  of  the 
vexed  question  of  the  transit  duties, 
he  proceeds: — '  This  subject  pre- 
'  sented  considerable  difficulty.  As 
(  duties  of  octroi  are  levied  univer- 

*  sally  in  China,  on  native  as  well  as 
'  foreign  products,  and  as  canals  and 
'  roads  are  kept  up  at  the  expense  of 
( the   Government,  it  seemed  to  be 
'  unreasonable  to  require  that  articles, 

*  whether  of  foreign  or  native   pro- 
'  duction,    by   the  simple  process  of 
'  passing  into  the  hands  of  foreigners, 
'  should  become  entitled  to  the  use 

'  of  roads  and  canals  toll-free,  and 
'  should,  moreover,  be  relieved  alto- 
1  gether  from  charges  to  which  they 
'  would  be  liable  if  the  property  of 
1  natives.  On  the  other  hand/ ex- 
t  perience  had  taught  us  the  incon- 
1  venience  of  leaving  the  amount  of 
'  duties  payable  under  the  head  of 
'  transit-duties  altogether  undeter- 
'  mined.  By  requiring  the  rates  of 
1  transit-duty  to  be  published  nt  each 
'  port ;  and  by  acquiring  for  the  Bri- 
'  tish  subject  the  right  to  commute 
( the  said  duties  for  a  payment  of  2^ 
1  per  cent,  on  the  value  of  his  goods 
f  (or  rather,  to  speak  more  correctly, 
( for  the  payment  of  a  specific  duty 

I  calculated  at  that  rate),  I  hope  that 

I 1  have  provided  for  the  latter  as  ef- 
'  factual  a  guarantee  against  undue 
'  exactions  on  this  head  as  can  be  ob- 
'  tained  without  an  entire  subversion 
1  of  the  financial  system  of  China.' 


the  exercise  of  the  Treaty-right  in  question  would  be 
of  serious  prejudice  to  China,  mainly  because,  in  the 
present  crisis  of  her  domestic  troubles  it  would  tend  to 
cause  a  loss  of  respect  for  their  Government  in  the 
minds  of  her  subjects,  he  gladly  forwarded  their  me- 
morial to  the  Government  in  England,  supporting  it 
with  the  strong  expression  of  his  own  opinion,  that  4  if 
4  Her  Majesty's  Ambassador  should  be  properly  received 
4  at  Pekin  when  the  ratifications  were  exchanged  next 
4  year,  it  would  be  expedient  that  Her  Majesty's  Repre- 
4  sentative  in  China  should  be  instructed  to  choose  a 
4  place  of  residence  elsewhere  than  at  Pekin,  and  to  make 
4  his  visits  either  periodical,  or  only  as  frequent  as  the 
4  exigencies  of  the  public  service  might  require/  With 
much  shrewdness  he  pointed  out  that  the  actual  presence 
of  a  minister  in  a  place  so  uncongenial,  especially  dur- 
ing the  winter  months,  when  the  thermometer  falls  to 
40°  below  zero,  might  possibly  be  to  the  Mandarin  mind 
less  awe-inspiring  than  the  knowledge  of  the  fact  that 
he  had  the  power  to  take  up  his  abode  there  whenever 
the  conduct  of  the  Chinese  Government  gave  occasion; 
and  that  thus  the  policy  which  he  recommended  would 
'leave  in  the  hands  of  Her  Majesty's  Government,  to 
4  be  wielded  at  its  will,  a  moral  lever  of  the  most  power  - 
4  ful  description  to  secure  the  faithful  observance  of  the 
4  Treaty  in  all  time  to  come.' 

At  Sea,  Gulf  of  Pecheli. — July  Sth. — At  last  I  am  actually  Keturn 
off— on  my  way  home?     May  I  hope  that  it  is  so?     I  got  on  southward- 
Sunday  the  Emperor's  assent  to  the  Treaty,  in  the  form  in  which 
I  required  it :  sent  immediately  down  to  stop  the  troops,  and 
set  off  myself  on  Tuesday  at  noon  for  the  Gulf.     We  sailed 
yesterday  afternoon,  with  the  intention,  if  possible,  of  seeing 
the  great  Wall  of  China  on  our  way  to  Shanghae,  but  we  have 
not  been  very   successful,  and  have  now  put  about,  arid  are 
moving  southwards.  .  .  .    Frederick  is  going  home    with  the 
Treaty,  and  I  proceed  via  Japan.  .  .  . 

July  \4ith. — Frederick  embarks  to-night,  and  sails  to-morrow 



morning  at  four.     I  shall  not  know  all  that  I   lose,  publicly 
and  privately,  by  his  departure,  till  he  is  gone.  .  .  . 

Shanghae,  Sunday,  July  ISth. — I  have  just  returned  from 
church.  Such  an  ordeal  I  never  went  through.  If  a  benevo- 
lent lady,  sitting  behind  me,  had  not  taken  compassion  on  me, 
and  handed  me  a  fan,  I  think  I  should  have  fainted.  .  .  .  Every 
one  says  that  the  heat  here  surpasses  that  felt  anywhere  else. 
They  also  affirm  that  this  is  an  exceptional  season. 

July  I9th. — Writing  has  been  an  almost  impossible  task 
during  these  few  last  days.  The  only  thing  I  have  been  able  to 
do  has  been  to  find  a  doorway,  or  some  other  place,  through 
which  a  draught  was  making  its  way,  and  to  sit  there  reading. 
...  In  sending  Frederick  away,  I  have  cut  off  my  right  arm, 
but  I  think,  on  the  whole,  it  was  better  that  he  should  take  the 
Treaty  home,  .  .  .  and  of  course  he  is  better  able  than  anyone 
else  to  explain  what  has  been  the  real  state  of  affairs  here.  .  .  . 
It  is  impossible  to  acknowledge  too  strongly  the  obligation  I 
am  under  to  him  for  the  way  in  which  he  has  helped  me  in  my 

Yeh-  July  21  st. — As  for  Yeh,  I  cannot  say  very  much  for  him ;  but 

the  account  given  of  him  by  the  Captain  of  the  '  Inflexible,' 
who  took  him  to  Calcutta,  differs  as  widely  as  possible  from 
that  of  the  Times*  Correspondent.  He  was  very  courteous 
and  considerate,  civil  to  everybody,  and  giving  no  trouble.  I 
suppose  that  there  is  no  doubt  of  the  fact  that  he  executed  a 
vast  number  of  rebels,  and  I,  certainly,  who  disapprove  of  all 
that  sort  of  thing,  am  not  going  to  defend  that  proceeding. 
But  it  is  fair  to  say  that  rebels  are  parricides  by  Chinese  law, 
and  that,  in  so  far  as  we  can  judge,  nothing  could  have  been 
more  brutal  or  more  objectless  than  this  Chinese  rebellion. 
They  systematically  murdered  all — men,  women,  and  children 
— of  the  dominant  race,  and  their  supporters,  on  whom  they 
could  lay  their  hands.  Certain  Americans  and  Europeans  took 
them  up  at  first  because  they  introduced  a  parody  of  some 
Christian  doctrines  into  their  manifestoes.  But  these  gentle- 
men are  now,  I  think,  heartily  ashamed  of  the  sympathy  which 
they  gave  them. 

July  26th. — I  heard  yesterday  a  good  piece  of  news.  The 
Emperor  has  named  my  friends,  the  Imperial  Commissioners,  to 
come  down  here  to  settle  the  tariff,  &c.  This,  I  think,  proves 
that  the  Emperor  has  made  up  his  mind  to  accept  the  Treaty 



id  carry  it  out. 
ie  Canton  affair. 

I  hope  also  that  it  will  enable  me  to  settle 

A  few  days  later,  finding  that  some  weeks  must 
ipse  before  the  Imperial  Commissioners  could  arrive, 
he  sailed  for  Nagasaki,  in  order  to  turn  the  interval  to 
account  by  endeavouring  to  negotiate  a  treaty  with  the 
Japanese  Government  in  accordance  with  the  instruc- 
tions which  he  had  received  when  leaving  England. 





Embark  t  Qn  foe  iast  day  of  July,  1858,  '  writes  Mr.  Oliphant, 
4  we  embarked  on  board  the  "  Furious,"  delighted, 
4  under  any  circumstances,  to  escape  from  the  summer 
4  heats  of  Shanghae,  were  it  only  for  a  few  weeks  ;  but 
4  our  gratification  increased  by  the  anticipation  of 
4  visiting  scenes  which  had  ever  been  veiled  in  the 
4  mystery  of  a  jealous  and  rigid  seclusion.'  .  .  .  There 
was  a  charm  also  in  the  very  indefiniteness  and  un- 
certainty of  the  objects  of  the  expedition.  4  1  do  not 
4  exactly  know/  wrote  Lord  Elgin,  4what  I  shall  do 
4  when  I  get  to  Nagasaki  ;  but,  at  any  rate,  I  shall 
4  ascertain  what  my  chances  are  of  making  a  satisfac- 
4  tory  treaty  with  Japan.' 

The  4  Furious  '  was  accompanied  by  the  4  Retribution  ' 
and  by  the  4Lee'  gunboat;  and  it  was  arranged  that 
the  Admiral  should  join  them  at  Nagasaki. 

Nagasaki.  —  August  3rd.  —  We  have  had  beautiful  weather,  and 
have  reached  this  point,  —  a  quiet,  small-looking  town,  fringing 
the  bottom  of  a  bay,  which  is  itself  the  close  of  a  channel  pass- 
ing between  ranges  of  high  volcanic  hills,  rugged  and  bold,  but 
luxuriant  with  vegetation  and  trees,  and  cultivated  in  terraces 
up  to  their  summits.  I  have  seen  nothing  so  beautiful  in  point 
of  scenery  for  many  a  long  day.  No  sort  of  difficulty  has  been 
made  to  our  progress  up  to  the  town.  The  only  symptom  of 

>8.  ARRIVES   AT   NAGASAKI.  261 

3Jection  I  observed  was  an  official  in  a  boat,  who  waved  a  fan, 
id  when  he  saw  we  took  no  notice,  sat  down  again  and  went 
with  a  book  which  he  seemed  to  be  reading.  On  both  sides 
the  channel,  however,  there  is  a  very  formidable  display  of 
mous  and  works  of  defence,  which  I  apprehend  would  not 
very  formidable  in  action.  I  have  heard  little  in  the  way  of 
news  yet,  but  I  am  disposed  to  believe  that  nothing  can  be 
accomplished  here,  and  that  if  anything  is  to  be  done  we  must 
go  on  to  Yecldo.  It  is  still  hot,  but  the  air,  which  comes  down 
from  these  lofty  hills,  is,  I  think,  fresher  than  that  which  passes 
over  the  boundless  level  in  the  vicinity  of  Shanghae. 

August  4:th. — I  have  just  had  a  visit  from  the  Vice-Governor 
of  Nagasaki.  One  of  his  own  suite  did  the  interpretation.  These 
are  the  nicest  people  possible.  None  of  the  stiffness  and  bigotry 
of  the  Chinese.  I  gave  them  luncheon,  and  it  was  wonderful 
how  nicely  they  managed  with  knives  and  forks  and  all  other 
strange  implements.  The  Admiral  arrived  this  forenoon.  He 
now  finds  that  his  instructions  direct  him  to  send  the  ( Emperor* 
yacht  (which  is  to  be  a  present)  to  Yeddo.  I  shall  take 
advantage  of  this  and  go  to  Yeddo  myself  at  once.  I  may  do 
something,  or  find  out  what  I  can  do. 

August  5th.—  Four  P.M. — The  heat  yesterday,  and  for  the 
two  nights  at  Nagasaki,  was  very  great.  It  must  be  a  charm- 
ing place  when  the  temperature  is  low  enough  to  admit  of 
walks  into  the  country.  As  it  is,  we  have  just  passed  into  the 
sea,  through  what  Captain  Osborn  calls  a  succession  of  Mount 
Edgecumbes.  I  went  ashore  yesterday  and  this  morning, 
chiefly  to  make  purchases.  Things  here  are  really  beautiful 
and  cheap.  The  town  is  wonderfully  clean  after  China.  Not 
a  beggar  to  be  seen.  The  people  clean  too ;  for  one  of  the 
commonest  sights  is  to  see  a  lady  in  the  front  of  her  house,  or 
in  the  front-room,  wide  open  to  the  street,  sitting  in  a  tub 
washing  herself.  I  never  saw  a  place  where  the  cleanliness  of 
the  fair  sex  was  established  on  such  unimpeachable  ocular 

August  6th.— Four  P.M. —  At  anchor  off  the  southernmost  Gales, 
point  of  Japan.  It  has  been  blowing  hard  all  day,  and  our 
captain  proposed,  that  instead  of  rounding  this  point  and 
facing  the  sea  and  wind,  against  which  we  should  not  be  able 
to  make  any  way,  we  should  creep  in  under  it  and  anchor. 
We  intend  to  remain  till  the  gale  abates.  Nothing  can  be 


finer  than  the  coast.  We  have  passed  to-day  some  very  high 
hills,  one  especially  on  an  island  to  the  right,  and  a  conical- 
shaped  one  on  the  left,  on  the  Japan  mainland.  I  see  little 
sign  of  population  on  this  coast  off  which  we  are  anchored  : 
only  one  little  fishing  village.  There  were  a  good  many 
junks  yesterday.  It  is  very  hot  though,  and  I  find  it  difficult 
to  sit  at  my  table  and  write. 

August  7th. —  Three  P.M. — Still  at  anchor  in  the  same  spot. 
The  storm  has  not  abated,  and  the  wind  is  dead  against  us. 
My  time  is  so  short  that  I  cannot  well  afford  to  lose  any. 

August  10th. —  Ten  A.M. — I  wonder  if  I  shall  be  able  to  write 
a  few  lines  legibly.  There  is  still  a  good  deal  of  motion,  but 
a  cool  breeze,  which  is  such  a  relief  after  the  sweltering  six 
weeks  we  have  spent.  Ahead  of  us  is  a  great  conical-shaped 
mountain,  the  sacred  mountain  of  Fusiama  (etymologically  ( the 
matchless  mountain '),  and  somewhere  nearer  on  the  long  range 
of  bold  coast  which  we  are  approaching,  we  expect  to  find 
Simoda.  But  I  must  tell  you  of  our  two  past  days — days  of 
suffering.  At  about  twelve  during  the  night  of  the  7th,  the 
wind  shifted  and  began  to  blow  into  our  anchorage,  so  as  to 
make  it  unsafe  to  stay  there,  and  to  promise  us  a  fair  wind  if 
we  proceeded  on  our  way  ;  so  off  we  started.  We  have  had  our 
fair  wind,  but  a  great  deal  of  it ;  and  as  the  '  Furious '  is  both 
a  bad  sailer  and  a  good  roller,  we  have  passed  a  very  wretched 
time, — every  hole  through  which  air  could  come  closed.  How- 
ever, we  have  made  good  progress  and  burnt  little  coal,  which 
is  good  for  the  public  interest.  We  see  now  in  the  distance 
two  sails,  which  we  suppose  may  be  our  consorts,  the  '  Em- 
peror '  and  '  Eetribution.'  We  have  travelled  some  1000  miles 
since  we  left  Shanghae,  besides  spending  two  days  at  Nagasaki. 
Coast  Same  day. — Noon. — It  is  a  magnificent  prospect  which 

we  have  from  the  paddle-box.  Immediately  before  us  a 
bold  junk,  its  single*  large  sail  set,  and  scudding  before  the 
breeze.  Beyond,  a  white  cloud,  slight  at  the  base,  and 
swelling  into  the  shape  of  a  balloon  as  it  rises.  We  have  dis- 
covered that  it  rests  on  a  mountain  dimly  visible  in  the  distance, 
and  which  we  recognise  as  the  volcanic  island  of  Oosima.  To- 
wards the  right  the  wide  sea  dotted  with  two  or  three  rocky 
islets.  On  the  left  of  the  volcano  island  a  point  of  land  rising 
into  a  bold  and  rocky  coast,  along  which  the  eye  is  carried  till 
it  encounters  a  mighty  bank  of  white  clouds  piled  up  one  upon 


SIMODA.  263 

>ther,  out  of  which  rises  clear  and  blue,  with  a  white  streak 
>n  the  side  which  seems  to  tell  of  perpetual  snow,  the  cone- 
laped  top  of  Fusiama.    Passing  on  the  eye  from  this  magnin- 
;nt  object  to  the  left  still  farther,  the  rocky  coast  is  followed 
it  loses  itself  in  the  distance.     What  is  almost  more  charm- 
than  the  scene  is  the  fresh  breeze  which  is  carrying  off  the 
cumulated  fever  of  weeks. 

August  12th. — At  sea  again.  (Grouse  day.  I  am  following  Simoda. 
different  game.)  We  dropped  anchor  in  the  harbour  of  Simoda 
on  the  10th  at  about  3  P.M.  I  went  off  immediately  to  see 
the  American  Consul-Greneral,  Mr.  Harris,  the  only  foreigner 
resident  at  Simoda.  I  found  him  living  in  what  had  been  a 
temple,  but  what  in  point  of  fact  makes  a  very  nice  cottage, 
overlooking  tlie  bay.  As  soon  as  we  anchored  we  began  to  feel 
the  heat,  though  not  so  great  as  at  Shanghae.  I  found  that  the 
Consul  had  contrived  to  make  a  pretty  good  treaty  with  Japan, 
evidently  under  the  influence  of  the  contrecoup  of  our  proceed- 
ings in  China.  He  had  had  an  interview  with  the  Emperor, 
but  it  transpired  that  he  had  a  letter  of  credence,  which  I  have 
not,  and  that  Putiatine,  not  having  one,  is  not  permitted  to  go 
to  Yeddo.  I  also  learnt  that  there  is  no  way  of  communicating 
with  the  Japanese  officials  except  through  the  Dutch  language. 
Being  without  a  Dutch  interpreter,  and  without  letters  of  cre- 
dence, my  case  looked  bad  enough.  However,  I  made  great 
friends  with  the  American,  and  the  result  is  that  he  has  lent 
me  his  own  interpreter,  who  is  now  beside  me  translating  into 
Dutch  a  letter  from  me  to  the  Foreign  Minister  of  the  Japanese 
Emperor.  You  see  how  I  was  situated.  The  problem  I  had  to 
solve  was  : — How  to  make  a  treaty  without  time  (for  I  cannot 
stay  here  above  a  few  days),  interpreter,  or  credentials  !  !  When 
I  say  credentials,  I  do  not  mean  full  powers.  These  I  have, 
but  prestige  is  everything  in  the  East,  and  I  should  not  like  to 
be  prevented  from  seeing  the  Emperor,  now  that  the  American 
has  been  received.  We  shall  see  how  we  can  get  out  of  all  this. 

The  lack  of  credentials  was  practically  supplied  .by 
the  steam-yacht  c  Emperor,'  which  he  had  to  present  to 
the  Tycoon  as  a  gift  from  her  Majesty;  and  the  duties 
of  interpreter  were  discharged  for  him  throughout  in 
the  most  efficient  manner  by  the  gentleman  above  re- 
ferred to,  Mr.  Heusken,  the  American  Secretary,  whom 

264  FIRST   MISSION   TO   CHINA.  CH.  X. 

he  found  '  not  only  competent  for  his  special  work,  but 
4  also  in  the  highest  degree  intelligent  and  obliging.' 

Same  date.—  Simoda  is  a  pretty  place,  lying  on  flat  ground 
at  the  head  of  a  short  bay,  with  rocky  volcanic-looking 
hills,  covered  with  fine  trees  and  intersected  by  valleys  all 
around.  The  people  seem  the  most  amiable  on  earth.  Crime 

bility.  an(j  pauperism  seem  little  known.  All  anxious  to  do  kindnesses 
to  strangers,  and  steadily  refusing  pay.  There  are  innumer- 
able officials  with  their  double-swords,  but  they  appear  to  be 
on  the  most  easy  terms  with  the  people.  To  judge  from  the 
amount  of  clothing  worn  by  both  sexes,  it  does  not  seem  likely 
that  there  will  be  any  great  demand  for  Manchester  cotton 
goods.  I  cannot  say  what  it  may  be  in  winter,  but  in  summer 

Oleanli-       they  seem  to  place  a  very  filial  reliance  on  nature.     They  are 

ness.  tne  cleanest  people  too.     The  floors  of  their  houses  are  covered 

with  mats  which  are  stuffed  beneath,  and  which  serve  for  beds, 
floors,  tables,  &c.  It  is  proper  to  take  off  the  shoes  or  sandals 
on  entering  the  houses  or  temples.  I  looked  into  one  or  two 
bathing-houses,  which  are  most  unlike  those  I  saw  at  Shang- 
hae;— an  inner  room  which  is  a  kind  of  steam-bath,  and  an 
outer  room  where  the  process  of  drying  goes  on.  The  differ- 
ence in  China  is,  that  it  is  only  the  men  that  clean  themselves 
there,  whereas  the  rights  of  the  fair  sex  on  this  point  are  fully 
recognised  in  Japan,  and  in  order  that  there  may  be  no  in- 
equality in  the  way  they  are  exercised,  all  bathe  together.  I 

Temples,  visited  some  temples.  Though  Buddhistic,  they  had  not  the 
hideous  figures  which  are  seen  in  the  Chinese  temples.  They 
were  generally  prettily  situated  near  the  foot  of  the  rocky  and 
wood-covered  cliffs,  with  flights  of  steps  running  up  to  shrines 
among  the  rocks.  They  were  surrounded  by  numerous  monu- 
ments to  the  departed,  consisting  generally  of  little  pilasters, 
squared  on  the  sides,  and  bearing  inscriptions,  surrounded  by 
a  coping  or  ball.  On  the  pedestal,  &c.,  in  front  of  the  pilaster, 
generally,  were  one  or  two  branches  of  what  looked  like  myrtle 
stuck  into  pieces  of  bamboo  which  serve  for  flower-pots.  These 
monuments,  crowded  together  around  the  temples  and  over- 
shadowed by  the  lofty  trees,  had  a  very  graceful  effect. 

We  have  just  committed  an  act  of  vigour.  In  place  of  going 
into  the  harbour  of  Kanagawa  where  Count  Putiatine  is  at 
anchor,  I  have  determined  to  proceed  to  a  point  several  miles 
higher  up  nearer  to  Yeddo.  We  completely  foil  by  our  audacity 

L858.  OFF   YEDDO.  265 

tl  the  poor  Japanese  officials.  I  have  said  nothing  of  the  bazaar 
*  Simoda,  where  there  were  a  great  many  pretty  things,  of 
Inch  I  bought  some,  nor  of  a  visit  which  the  Governor  paid 
•  me.  He  was  a  very  jolly  fellow,  liked  his  luncheon  and  a 
joke.  He  made  the  conventional  protests  against  my  going 

n,  &c.,  but  when  he  saw  it  was  of  no  use,  he  dropped  the 
ubject.     The  Japanese   are   a  most  curious  contrast  to  the 

hirese,  so  anxious  to  learn,  and  so  prevenants.     God  grant 
,hat  in  opening  their  country  to  the  West,  we  may  not  be 

ringing  upon  them  misery  and  ruin. 

Off  Yeddo. — August  14th. — We  moved  yesterday  to  within  Off  Yeddo. 
ibout  one  mile  of  the  shore  off  the  suburb  of  Yeddo.   The  shore 

flat,  and  the  buildings  of  the  town,  interspersed  with  trees 
nd  enclosures,  seem  to  stretch  to  a  great  distance  along  the 
crescent-shaped  bay.  Immediately  in  front  of  the  town  and 
opposite  to  us  are  five  large  batteries.  Four  Japanese  men-of- 
war  built  on  European  models  are  anchored  beside  us.  Three 
princes  came  off  to  see  me  yesterday.  They  were  exceedingly 
civil,  but  very  anxious  to  get  me  to  go  back  to  Kanagawa,  a 
port  about  ten  miles  down  the  bay,  from  which  they  said  they 
would  convey  me  by  land  to  Yeddo.  Of  course  I  would  not 
agree  to  this.  They  were  very  much  puzzled  (and  no  wonder) 
by  my  two  names.  I  complimented  the  prince  on  the  beauti- 
ful Fusiama,  calling  it  a  high  mountain.  '  Oh ! '  he  said  at 
once,  f  I  have  seen  a  scale  of  mountains,  and  I  know  that  there 
*  are  many  much  higher  than  Fusiama.'  There  were  persons  in 
the  suite  taking  down  in  shorthand  every  word  that  passed  in 
conversation,  and  I  thought  I  saw  in  one  of  their  note-books 
a  sketch  of  my  face.  No  doubt  these  were  spies  also,  to  watch 
and  report  on  the  proceedings  of  the  officials,  for  that  seems  to 
be  the  great  means  of  government  in  Japan.  Still  there  is  no 
appearance  of  oppression  or  fear  anywhere.  It  seems  to  be  a 
matter  of  course  that  every  man  should  fill  the  place  and  per- 
form the  function  which  custom  and  law  prescribe,  and  that  he  Sanctity  of 
should  be  denounced  if  he  fail  to  do  so.  The  Emperor  is  never 
allowed  to  leave  the  precincts  of  his  palace,  and  everybody, 
high  and  low,  is  under  a  rigid  rule  of  convenances,  which  does 
not  seem  to  be  felt  to  be  burdensome.  I  am  afraid  they  are 
not  much  disposed  to  do  things  in  a  hurry,  and  that  I  must 
discover  some  means  of  hastening  them,  if  I  am  to  get  my 
treaty  before  returning  to  Shanghae. 

August  \Qth. — Princes,  five  in  number,   arrived   on  board 

266  FIRST   MISSION   TO   CHINA.  CH.  X. 

yesterday  at  about  3  P.M.  Among  them  was  the  Lord  High 
Admiral,  a  very  intelligent  well-bred  man.  It  was  agreed  that 
I  was  to  land  to-day,  and  some  discussion  took  place  as  to  the 
house  I  was  to  inhabit.  They  said  that  they  could  give  me 
the  choice  of  two,  but  that  they  recommended  the  one  farthest 
from  the  palace  as  being  in  best  repair.  I  chose  the  one  nearest 
the  palace,  because  one  is  .always  obliged  to  be  on  one's  guard 
against  slights,  but  it  has  rained  so  much  to-day  that  I  have 
sent  to  say  that  I  will  not  land  till  to-morrow,  and  to  inquire 
where  I  can  really  be  best  lodged.  I  have  handed  to  the  au- 
thorities a  draft  of  my  treaty.  The  chief  interpreter,  by  name 
Moriama  (the  '  wooded  mountain  '),  a  very  acute  and  smooth- 
spoken gentleman,  who  told  one  of  my  party  yesterday  that  the 
princes  who  have  come  off  to  me  are  Free  Traders,  and  that 
this  is  the  spirit  of  the  Government,  but  that  some  of  the 

Hereditary  hereditary  princes  are  very  much  opposed  to  intercourse  with 
foreigners,  and  that  some  little  time  ago  it  was  apprehended 
that  they  would  raise  a  rebellion  against  the  Government,  in 
j  consequence  of  the  concessions  it  is  making.  The  official 
princes  are  named  by  the  Emperor  for  life,  but  the  hereditary 
ones  are  great  feudal  chiefs  owing  rather  a  qualified  allegiance 
to  the  Emperor.  Moriama  pretended  that  he  and  his  friends 
had  seen  the  arrival  of  our  ship  with  pleasure,  but  of  course 
one  never  knows  whether  to  believe  a  word  they  say. 

Yeddo.  Yeddo. — August  I8t/t,  Seven  A.M. — Here  I  am  installed  in  a 

building  which  forms  the  dependence  of  a  temple.  It  consists 
of  some  small  rooms  forming  two  sides  of  a  square,  with  a  ve- 
randah running  in  front  of  them.  From  the  verandah  you  step 
into  a  garden  not  very  well  kept,  with  a  pond  and  trees,  and 
some  appearance  of  care  in  laying  it  out.  In  the  centre  is  the 
temple,  with  a  back-door  opening  into  the  garden.  I  entered 
it  yesterday,  and  found  a  '  buddha '  coming  out  of  the  lotus, 
looking  very  freshly  gilt  and  well  cared  for.  There  were  in  the 
temple  two  or  three  priests,  who  seem  to  live  there ;  at  any 
rate,  one  was  asleep  on  the  matting,  which,  as  I  told  you,  is  in 
Japanese  houses  laid  on  the  top  of  a  bed  of  straw.  They  are 
charmingly  soft  and  clean,  as  all  shoes  are  put  off  on  entering. 
The  natives  use  neither  tables,  chairs,  nor  beds.  They  lie,  sit, 
and  feed  on  this  matting.  They  have  made  considerable  exer- 
tions, however,  to  fit  up  our  houses  on  European  principles.  We 
landed  yesterday  at  noon.  The  day  was  fine,  and  the  procession 

YEDDO.  267 

boats  imposing.  An  immense  crowd  of  good-natured,  curious 
>eople  lined  both  sides  of  the  streets  along  which  we  passed, 
"he  streets  are  wide  and  handsome.  We  were  preceded  and 
>mpanied  by  officers  to  keep  off  the  crowd,  but  a  blow  with 
fan  was  the  heaviest  penalty  that  I  saw  inflicted  on  anyone 
>reaking  the  line.  At  every  fifty  yards,  or  so,  the  street  was 
)ssed  by  large  gates,  which  were  closed  as  soon  as  our  pro- 
jssion  passed  through,  which  prevented  a  rush  after  us.  On 
Driving,  as  I  had  nothing  else  to  do,  I  proposed  a  ride  through 
ie  town,  to  the  considerable  consternation  of  our  attendants, 
e  set  off  on  saddles  made  of  hard  and  rather  sharp  bits  of 
wood,  stirrups  which  I  can't  undertake  to  describe,  and  our 
knees  in  our  mouths.  However,  we  made  our  way  to  the 
quarter  of  the  Palace  or  Castle.  As  we  approached  it,  we 
passed  through  streets  inhabited  by  princes.  I  did  not  enter 
any  of  their  houses,  but  they  seem  to  be  constructed  somewhat 
on  the  principle  of  the  entre  cour  et  jardin  houses  in  parts  of 
Paris.  On  the  street  front  the  offices,  substantially  built,  and 
often  with  very  handsome  gateways.  The  '  Castle  '  is  sur-  The 
rounded  by  three  concentric  enclosures,  consisting  of  walls  and  ' Castle-' 
moats.  They  are  at  a  considerable  distance  from  each  other, 
and  the  Emperor  resides  in  the  innermost  enclosure,  from  which 
he  never  goes  out.  The  intervals  between  the  enclosures  are 
filled  up  with  handsome  houses,  &c.  We  passed  over  the  first 
moat,  and  rode  up  to  the  second.  When  we  came  up  to  the 
second  we  discovered  a  spectacle  which  was  really  very  grand. 
The  moat  was  some  forty  or  fifty  yards  wide ;  beyond  it  a  high 
bank  of  grass  nicely  kept,  with  trees  rather  like  yews  every 
here  and  there  dropped  upon  it.  The  crest  of  the  bank  seemed 
to  be  crowned  by  a  temple,  surrounded  by  trees.  The  stone 
wall  was  on  a  grand  scale,  and  well  finished.  In  short,  the 
whole  thing  would  have  been  considered  magnificent  anywhere. 
After  China,  where  everything  is  mesquin,  and  apparently 
en  decadence,  it  produces  a  great  effect.  I  did  not  see  a  single 
beggar  in  the  streets  ;  and  as  in  this  ride  of  yesterday  we  took 
our  own  way,  without  giving  any  notice,  we  must  have  seen 
the  streets  in  their  usual  guise. 

My  poor,  dear  friends,  the  Japanese,  object  to  everything 
and  always  give  way.1     It  is  a  bad  plan,  because  it  forces 

1  Not  so,  however,  in  the  actual      of    later   date   he   writes :     '  I  was 
work  of  negotiating.     In  a  despatch      f  much  struck  by  the  business-like 



Cn.  X. 

one  to  be  very  peremptory  and  overbearing.  Nothing  can  be 
milder  than  their  objections,  but  they  lose  time.  I  have  told 
them  that  I  must  see  the  Foreign  Minister  to-day,  and  that 
I  must  have  another  house,  as  the  situation  of  this  one  is  not 
sufficiently  aristocratic.  I  do  not  know,  however,  whether  I 
shall  press  the  latter  point,  as  it  will  put  myself  to  much  in- 

August  Wth.—  In  the  evening,  I  visited  the  Foreign  Minister, 
or  rather,  the  two  Foreign  Ministers  (I  believe  there  are  three, 
but  one  is  unwell).  I  took  my  whole  staff,  but  only  my  secre- 
tary and  interpreter  remained  in  the  room  when  we  came  to 
talk  of  business.  There  has  been  a  change  of  Government, 
and  the  present  Foreign  Secretaries  seem  stupid  enough.  The 
Government  seems  to  be  a  sort  of  oligarchy  in  the  hands  of  the 
hereditary  princes.  Cpunt  Putiatine,  who  has  just  been  with 
me,  tells  me  that  he  does  not  consider  the  officers,  with  whom 
we  are  negotiating,  princes  at  all.  They  have  the  title  of  Kami, 
but  it  is  not  hereditary,  and  they  are  altogether  inferior  to  the 
others.  Both  have  the  title  of  Kami,  but  the  hereditary 
princes  are  also  called  Daimios. 

August  2 1st. — On  the  1 9th,  the  Plenipotentiaries  appointed  to 
treat  with  me  came.  They  are  six  in  number.  We  exchanged 
our  full  powers,  and  I  made  some  difficulty  about  theirs,  but 
was  satisfied  by  their  explanations.  After  the  seance,  I  went 
out  riding  through  the  streets.  I  had  not  given  notice,  and 
we  went  through  a  densely  peopled  quarter,  which  gave  me  an 
opportunity  of  seeing  something  of  the  popular  feeling.  We 
were  followed  by  immense  crowds,  among  whom  some  boys 
took  to  hooting,  and  by  degrees  to  throwing  stones.  This  got 
rather  disagreeable,  so  at  length  we  took  to  stopping  at  the 
gates,  turning  right  about,  and  facing  the  mob  with  our  horses, 
until  the  gates  were  shut.  It  proves  to  me,  however,  that  it 
is  not  prudent  to  go  about  without  a  good  Japanese  escort. 
ride.1"1  Iy  Yesterday  we  had  a  most  charming  expedition  into  the  country. 


'  manner  in  which  they  did  their 
'  work ;  making  very  shrewd  observa- 
'  tions,  and  putting  very  pertinent 
' questions,  but  by  no  means  in  a 
'  captious  or  cavilling  spirit.  Of 
*  course  their  criticisms  were  some- 
'  times  the  result  of  imperfect  ac- 
'  quaintance  with  foreign  affairs,  and 
'  it  was  occasionally  necessary  to  re- 

'  move  their  scruples  by  alterations  in 
'  the  text  which  were  not  improve- 
*  ments ;  but  on  the  whole,  I  am 
( bound  to  say  that  I  never  treated 
'  with  persons  who  seemed  to  me, 
'  within  the  limits  of  their  know- 
'  ledge,  to  be  more  reasonable.' — See 
also  infra,  p.  270. 


started  at  about  1 1   A.M.,  rode  first  to  the  road  I  have 
ady  described.,  and  which  runs  along  the  moat  of  the  second 
enclosure  of  the  Emperor's  domain.     We  passed  alongside  of 
this    enclosure.     The    effect  of  the    domain  within,  with   its 
dropping  trees  (not  yews,  I  see,  but  pines  of  some  sort,  many 
of  them  with  spreading  branches  like  cedars),  being  somewhat 
that  of  a  magnificent  English  park.     This,  mind  you,  in  the 
centre  of  a  city  of  two  or  three  millions  of  inhabitants. 

Sunday,  August  22nd. — We  then  passed  through  the  gate  of 
the  outermost  enclosure  on  the  opposite  side,  and  entered  some 
crowded  streets  beyond,  through  which  we  made  our  way, 
passing  on  our  right  the  palace  of  the  greatest  of  the  hereditary 
princes,  really  an  imposing  mass  of  building.  Beyond,  we  got 
into  the  country,  consisting  at  first  of  a  sort  of  long  street  of 
quaint  cottages  with  thatched  or  tiled  roofs,  embosomed  in 
gardens,  and  interspersed  with  avenues  conducting  to  temples* 
Further  on  were  cultivated  fields,  with  luxuriant  crops  of  great 
variety  :  rice,  sweet  potato,  egg-plant,  peas,  millet,  yams,  taro, 
melons,  &ic.  &c.  At  last,  we  reached  a  place  of  refreshment, 
consisting  of  a  number  of  kiosques,  on  the  bank  of  a  stream, 
with  a  waterfall  hard  by,  and  gardens  with  rock-work  (not 
mesquin,  as  in  China,  but  really  pretty  and  in  good  taste) 
opposite.  Here  we  had  luncheon.  Fruits,  and  a  kind  of 
Julienne  soup ;  not  bad,  but  rather  maigre,  served  to  us  by 
charming  young  ladies,  who  presented  on  their  knees  the  trays 
with  the  little  dishes  upon  them.  The  repast  finished,  we  set 
out  on  our  return  (for  we  had  overshot  our  mark),  and  visited 
the  gardens,  which  were  the  object  of  our  expedition.  They 
had  the  appearance  of  nursery  gardens,  with  rows  of  pots 
containing  dwarf-trees  and  all  manner  of  quaint  products  ; 
all  this,  moreover,  in  a  prettily  accidente  country,  abounding  in 
forest  trees  and  luxuriant  undergrowth.  We  got  back  at 
about  7  P.M.,  having  met  with  no  mishap. 

On  the  whole,  I  consider  it  the  most  interesting  expedition  Peace  and 
I  ever  made.     The  total  absence  of  anything  like  want  among  p  enty' 
the   people ;    their  joyous,   though  polite  and  respectful  de- 
meanour ;    the  combination  of  that  sort  of  neatness  and  finish 
which  we   attain   in    England   by    the    expenditure    of  great 
wealth,  with  tropical  luxuriance,  made  me  feel  that  at  last  I 
had  found  something  \v  hich  entirely  surpassed  all  the  expecta- 
tions I  had  formed.     And  I  am  bound  to  say,  that  the  social 

270  FIRST   MISSION   TO   CHINA.  On.  X. 

and  moral  condition  of  Japan  has  astonished  me  quite  as  much 
as  its  material  beauty.  Every  man,  from  the  Emperor  (who 
never  leaves  his  palace)  to  the  humblest  labourer,  lives  under 
a  rio-id  rule,  prescribed  by  law  and  custom  combined ;  and  the 
Government,  through  its  numerous  agents,  among  whom  are 
hosts  of  spies,  or  more  properly  inspectors  (for  there  is  no 
secresy  or  concealment  about  this  proceeding),  exercises  a  close 
surveillance  over  the  acts  of  each  individual ;  but,  in  so  far  as 
one  can  judge,  this  system  is  not  felt  to  be  burdensome  by  any. 
All  seem  to  think  it  the  most  natural  thing  in  the  world  that 
they  should  move  in  the  orbit  in  which  they  are  placed.  The 
agents  of  authority  wear  their  two  swords ;  but,  as  they  never 
use  them  except  for  the  purpose  of  ripping  themselves  up,  the 
privilege  does  not  seem  to  be  felt  to  be  invidious.  My  inter- 
Good  preter,  a  Dutchman,  lent  to  me  by  the  United  States  Consul- 
General,  has  been  two  years  in  the  country,  and  he  assures  me 
that  he  never  saw  a  Japanese  in  a  passion,  and  never  saw  a 
parent  beat  a  child.  An  inexhaustible  fund  of  good  temper 
seems  to  prevail  in  the  community.  Whenever  in  our  discus- 
sions on  business  we  get  on  rough  ground,  I  always  find  that 
a  joke  brings  us  at  once  upon  the  level  again.  Yesterday,  at  a 
formal  audience  with  the  Foreign  Ministers  (to  settle  about  the 
handing  over  of  the  yacht),  they  began  to  propose  that,  in 
addition  to  the  Commissioners,  I  should  allow  some  other 
officers  (probably  spies  or  inspectors)  to  be  present  at  our 
discussions  on  the  clauses  of  the  Treaty.  After  treating  this 
seriously  for  some  moments,  without  settling  it  to  their  satis- 
faction, I  at  once  carried  the  day,  by  saying  laughingly,  that 
as  they  were  six  to  one  already,  they  ought  not  to  desire  to 
have  more  chances  in  their  favour.  This  provoked  a  counter- 
laugh  and  a  compliment,  and  no  more  was  said  about  the  spies. 
When  the  Commissioners  came  yesterday  afternoon  to  go 
through  the  clauses  of  the  Treaty  with  me,  I  was  much  pleased 
with  the  manner  in  which  they  took  to  their  work,  raising 
questions  and  objections  in  a  most  business-like  manner,  but 
without  the  slightest  appearance  of  captiousness  or  a  desire  to 
make  difficulties.  Their  interpreter,  Moriama3  is  a  very  good 
Dutch  scholar,  and,  of  course,  being  a  remarkably  shrewd 
gentleman  withal,  has  a  leading  part  in  the  proceedings ;  but 
all  seem  to  take  an  intelligent  share. 
Temples.  I  went  into  the  temple  of  which  this  building  forms  a  part, 


Two  priests  came  up  to  me,  knelt  down,  and 
dd  before  me  two  pages  of  paper,  holding  out  to  me  at  the 
>me  time  the  painting-brush  and  Indian  inkstand,  which  is 
inseparable  companion   of  every  Japanese,   and    making 
jns  which  I  interpreted  into  a  request  that  I  would  write 
down  my  name.     I  sat  down  on  the  floor,  and  complied  with 
their   request,   which   seemed   to   please   them.     The   priests 
ippear  by  no  means  so  wretched  here  as  in  China,  and  the 
nnples  are  in  much  better  case.     I  have  not,  however,  seen 
lany  of  them. 

It  is  difficult,  of  course,  to  speak  positively  of  the  political  Political 
mdition    of  a    country  of  which    one  knows    so  little  ;    but  condltxon« 
lere  seems  to  be  a  kind  of  feudal  system  in  vigour  here, 
le  hereditary  princes  (Daimios),   some   360  in  number  (I 
doubt  much  their  being  all  equally  powerful),  exercise  exten- 
sive jurisdiction  in  their  respective  domains.     A  Dutch  officer, 
who  visited  one  of  these  domains  in  a  Japanese  man-of-war, 
found  that  the  chieftain  would  not  allow  even  the  officers  of 
the  Japanese  Emperor  to  land  on  his  territory.     The  only 
control  which  the  Emperor  exerts  over  them  is  derived  from 
his  requiring  all  their  wives  and  families  to  live  at  Yeddo  per- 
manently.    The  Daimios  themselves  spend  half  the  year  in 
Yeddo,  and  the  other  half  at  their  country  places.     The  Su- 
preme  Council  of   State   appears  to  be  in  a  great  measure 
named  by  the  Daimios,  and  the  recent  change  of  Government 
is  supposed  to  have  been  a  triumph  of  the  protectionist  or 
anti-foreign  party.     There  is  no  luxury  or  extravagance  in  any 
class.     No  jewels  or  gold  ornaments  even  at  Court ;    but  the 
nobles  have  handsome  palaces,  and  large  bodies  of  retainers. 
A  perfectly  paternal  government ;  a  perfectly  filial  people  ;  a    . 
community  entirely  self-supporting  ;  peace  within  and  without ; 
no  want ;  no  ill-will  between  classes.     This  is  what  I  find  in      K 
Japan  in  the  year  1858,  after  one  hundred  years'  exclusion  of     I 
foreign  trade  and  foreigners.     Twenty  years  hence,  what  will 
be  the  contrast  ? 

August  27th. — Here  I  am  at  sea  again.  It  is  9  P.M.  I 
have  just  been  on  deck.  A  lovely  moon,  nearly  full,  gliding 
through  cloudless  blue,  spangled  here  and  there  with  bright 
twinkling  stars.  I  begin  to  feel  as  if  at  last  I  was  really  on 
my  way  home.  Both  my  treaties  are  made,  and  I  am  steering 
westwards  !  Is  it  so  or  am  I  to  meet  some  great  disappoint- 

272  FIRST   MISSION   TO   CHINA.  CH.  X. 

ment  when  I  reach  China  ?  I  feel  a  sort  of  terror  when  I 
contemplate  my  return  to  that  place.  My  trip  to  Japan  has 
been  a  green  spot  in  the  desert  of  my  mission  to  the  East. 

But  I  must  tell  you  how  I  have  been  spending  my  days  since 
the  22nd,  when  I  last  added  a  word  to  this  letter.  On  the 
afternoon  of  that  day,  I  had  a  long  sitting  with  the  Japanese 
Plenipotentiaries,  and  we  went  over  the  clauses  of  the  Treaty 
which  we  had  not  reached  on  the  previous  day.  On  the  23rd 
they  returned,  and  we  agreed  finally  on  all  the  articles.  It 
was  also  settled  that  the  signature  should  take  place  on  the 
26th  (the  very  day  two  months  after  the  signature  of  the 
Treaty  of  Tientsin),  and  that  the  delivery  of  the  yacht  should 
take  place  on  the  same  day  ;  the  Japanese  agreeing  to  salute 
the  British  flag  with  twenty-one  guns  from  their  batteries  — a 
proceeding  unheard  of  in  Japan.  On  the  24th,  we  took  a  ride 
into  the  country,  in  the  opposite  direction  to  our  former  ride. 
We  passed  through  a  long  suburb  on  the  shore  of  the  sea,  and 
eventually  emerged  into  a  rural  district,  rich  and  neat  as  that 
we  had  formerly  visited  ;  but  as  the  country  was  flat,  it  was 

A  temple,  hardly  so  interesting.  The  object  of  our  visit  was  a  temple, 
far  the  finest  I  have  seen  either  in  China  or  Japan.  We 
had  some  luncheon  in  a  tea-house,  and  got  back  at  about  7 
P.M.  On  the  25th,  we  went  to  another  temple,  through  the 
most  crowded  part  of  the  city  (where  we  were  stoned  before). 
We  were  followed  by  large  multitudes,  but  nothing  disagree- 
able took  place.  At  the  temple  we  found  a  scene  somewhat 
resembling  Greenwich  Fair.  Immense  numbers  of  people 
I  amusing  themselves  in  all  sorts  of  ways.  Stalls  covered  with 
toys  and  other  wares  ;  kiosques  for  tea  ;  show  places,  &c.  &c. 
Life  seems  an  affair  of  enjoyment  in  Japan.  We  made  some 
purchases,  and  got  home  by  about  5  P.M.,  in  order  to  receive 
a  party.  I  had  invited  the  Imperial  Commissioners  to  dine 

A  juggler,  with  me,  and  requested  that  they  would  send  a  juggler  to 
perform  before  dinner.  They  tried  to  fight  shy  after  having 
accepted,  I  suppose  because  they  considered  it  infra  dig.  to 
attend  at  the  performance  of  the  juggler ;  but  they  came  at  last, 
and  enjoyed  the  dinner  part  of  the  affair  thoroughly.  The 
juggler  was  good,  but  one  particular  feat  was  beyond  praise. 
He  twisted  a  bit  of  paper  into  the  shape  of  a  butterfly,  and 
kept  it  hovering  and  fluttering,  lighting  here  or  there,  on  a 
fan  which  he  held  in  his  other  hand,  on  a  bunch  of  flowers, 

358.  JAPANESE   TREATY.  273 

jj — all  by  the  action  on  the  air,  produced  by  a  fan  which  he 
ild  in  the  right  hand.  At  onetime  he  started  two  butterflies, 
id  kept  them  both  on  the  wing.  It  was  the  most  graceful 
rick  I  ever  saw,  and  entirely  an  affair  of  skill,  not  trick.  The 
iggler  was  succeeded  by  the  dinner,  which  I  wound  up  by 
jiving  sundry  toasts,  with  all  the  honours,  to  the  great  amuse- 
lent  of  my  Commissioners.  Thursday  morning  was  occupied 
lying  bills,  which  was  a  most  difficult  matter,  as  the  Go- 
jrnment  will  not  allow  the  people  to  take  money  in  the  shops, 
id  the  complication  of  accounts  was  very  great.  The  accuracy 
the  Japanese  in  these  matters  is,  however,  very  great. 
At  1  P.M.  the  Commissioners  came  to  sign  the  Treaty.  Signing 
re  have  agreed  to  make  the  Dutch  copy  the  original,  as  it  theTreaty 
the  language  both  parties  understand.  The  Dutch  copy, 
written  by  their  man  Moriama,  was  so  beautifully  written, 
that  I  have  kept  it  to  send  to  England.  After  the  signature, 
I  lunched  on  a  dinner  sent  me  by  the  Emperor  ;  not  so  bad, 
after  all.  About  3  P.M.  I  set  off  to  go  on  board  the 
*  Emperor '  yacht,  which  I  reached  at  about  5  ;  immediately 
after  which  the  Japanese  fort  saluted  the  British  flag  with 
twenty-one  guns  (ten-inch  guns) ;  as  good  a  salute  as  I  ever 
heard,  an  exact  interval  of  ten  seconds  between  each  gun. 
The  Japanese  flag  was  then  hoisted  on  the  '  Emperor,'  and 
saluted  by  the  'Retribution'  and ( Furious'  with  twenty- one  guns 
each.  We  ended  the  day  with  a  collation  on  board  the  '  Retri- 
bution,' and  trip  in  the  '  Emperor ; '  and  as  I  was  pacing  the 
deck  of  the  '  Furious,'  before  retiring  to  rest,  after  my  labours 
were  over,  to  my  great  surprise  I  observed  that  the  forts  were 
illuminated  !  Imagine  our  daring  exploit  of  breaking  through 
every  consigne,  and  coining  up  to  Yeddo,  having  ended  in  an 
illumination  of  the  forts  in  our  honour !  At  4  A.M.  this 
morning  we  weighed  anchor,  and  are  now  some  140  miles  on 
our  way  to  Shanghae. 

The  principal  advantages  secured  to  England  by  this  Articles 
Treaty,  so  amicably  and  rapidly  settled,  were  the  follow-  Treaty, 

Power  to  appoint  a  Diplomatic  Agent  to  reside  at 
Yeddo,  and  Consuls  at  the  open  ports; 

Ample  recognition  of  Consular  jurisdiction  and  of 
the  immunities  of  exterritoriality; 



The  opening  to  British  subjects,  at  specified  periods, 
of  several  of  the  most  important  ports  and  cities  of 
Japan  ; 

Power  to  land  and  store  supplies  for  the  use  of  the 
British  navy  at  Kanagawa,  Hakodadi,  and  Nagasaki, 
without  payment  of  duty; 

Power  to  British  subjects  to  buy  from  and  sell  to 
Japanese  subjects  directly,  without  the  intervention  of 
the  Japanese  authorities ; 

Foreign  coin  to  pass  for  corresponding  weights  of 
Japanese  coin  of  the  same  description ; 

Abolition  of  tonnage  and  transit  dues ; 

Reduction  of  duties  on  exports  from  35  per  cent,  to 
a  general  rate  of  5  per  cent,  ad  valorem. 

The  concessions  obtained  from  the  Japanese  by  the 
Treaty  of  Yeddo  were  not,  in  some  important  parti- 
culars, so  considerable  as  those  which  had  been  made  by 
China  in  the  Treaty  of  Tientsin.  It  was,  however,  a 
material  advance  on  all  previous  treaties  with  Japan, 
and  it  opened  the  door  to  the  gradual  establishment  of 
relations  of  commerce  and  amity  between  the  people  of 
the  West  and  that  of  Japan,  which  might  become,  as 
Lord  Elgin  hoped  and  believed,  of  the  most  cordial 
and  intimate  character,  *  if  the  former  did  not,  by  inju- 
4  dicious  and  aggressive  acts,  rouse  against  themselves 
4  the  fears  and  hostility  of  the  natives.' 

Eetrospect.  August  30th. — Eleven  A.M. — We  are  again  plunging  into 
the  China  Sea,  and  quitting  the  only  place  which  I  have  left 
with  any  feeling  of  regret  since  I  reached  this  abominable 
East, — abominable,  not  so  much  in  itself,  as  because  it  is 
strewed  all  over  with  the  records  of  our  violence  and  fraud, 
and  disregard  of  right.  The  exceeding  beauty  external  of 
Japan,  and  its  singular  moral  "and  social  picturesqueness, 
cannot  but  leave  a  pleasing  impression  on  the  mind.  One 
feels  as  if  the  position  of  a  Daimio  in.  Japan  might  not  be  a  bad 
one,  with  two  or  three  millions  of  vassals  ;  submissive,  but  not 
servile,  because  there  is  no  contradiction  between  their  sense 
of  fitness  and  their  position. 

DELAYS.  275 









ARRIVING  at  Shanghae  on  the  2nd  of  September,  Lord  Delays. 
Elgin  found  that  the  Imperial  Commissioners  whom  he 
came  to  meet  had  not  yet  appeared,  and  were  not  ex- 
pected for  four  or  five  weeks.  All  this  time,  therefore, 
he  was  obliged  to  remain  idle  at  Shanghae,  hearing  from 
time  to  time  news  from  Canton  which  made  his  presence 
there  desirable,  but  unable  to  proceed  thither  till  the 
arrangements  respecting  the  Treaty  were  completed. 

Shangliae. — Sunday,  September  5th. — I  wish  to  be  off  for 
England :  but  I  dread  leaving  my  mission  unfinished.  ...  I 
feel,  therefore,  that  I  am  doomed  to  a  month  or  six  weeks 
more  of  China. 

September  6th. — It  is  very  weary  work  staying  here  really 
doing  for  the  moment  little.  But  what  is  to  be  done?  It  will 
not  do  to  swallow  the  cow  and  worry  at  the  tail.  I  have  been 
looking  over  the  files  of  newspapers,  and  those  of  Hong-kong 
teem  with  abuse ; — this,  notwithstanding  the  fact  that  I  have 
made  a  Treaty  which  exceeds  everything  the  most  imaginative 
ever  hoped  for.  The  truth  is,  they  do  not  really  like  the 
opening  of  China.  They  fear  that  their  monopoly  will  be 
interfered  with. 

September  llth. — I  am  amused  with  the  confident  way  in 

T  2 


which  the  ladies  here  talk  of  going  home  after  five  years  with 
fortunes  made.  They  live  in  the  greatest  luxury, — in  a  tole- 
rable climate,  and  think  it  very  hard  if  they  are  not  rich  enough 
to  retire  in  five  years.  ...  I  do  not  know  of  any  business  in 
any  part  of  the  world  that  yields  returns  like  this.  No  wonder 
they  dislike  the  opening  of  China,  which  may  interfere  with 

Arrival  of  It  was  not  till  the  4th  of  October  that  the  arrival 
was  announced  of  the  Imperial  Commissioners,  includ- 
ing among  their  number  his  old  friends  Kweiliang  and 
Hwashana.  While  they  were  on  the  road,  circumstances 
had  come  to  Lord  Elgin's  knowledge  which  gave  him 
reason  to  fear  that  they  mi^ht  be  disposed  to  call  in 
question  some  of  the  privileges  conceded  under  the 
Treaty,  and  that  they  might  found  on  the  still  un- 
settled state  of  affairs  in  the  South  a  hope  of  succeed- 
ing in  this  attempt.  He  thought  it  better  to  dispel  all 
such  illusions  at  once,  by  taking  a  high  and  peremptory 
tone  upon  the  latter  subject.  Accordingly,  when  his 
formal  complaint  against  Hwang,  the  Governor-General 
of  the  Two  Kiang,  for  keeping  up  hostilities  in  spite  of 
the  Treaty,  was  met  by  a  promise  to  stop  this  for  the 
future  by  proclamation,  he  refused  to  accept  this 
promise,  and  demanded  the  removal  of  Hwang  and  the 
suppression  of  a  Committee  which  had  been  formed 
for  the  enrolment  of  volunteers;  intimating  at  the 
same  time,  through  a  private  channel,  that  unless  he 
obtained  full  satisfaction  on  the  Canton  question,  it  was 
by  no  means  improbable  that  he  might  return  to  Tien- 
tsin, and  from  that  point,  or  at  Pekin  itself,  require  the 
Emperor  to  keep  his  engagements.  This  had  the  de- 
sired effect.  The  Commissioners  at  once  undertook, 
not  only  to  issue  a  pacific  proclamation  couched  in  be- 
coming terms,  but  also  to  memorialise  the  Emperor  for 
the  recall  of  the  Governor-General,  and  the  withdrawal 
of  all  powers  from  the  Committee  of  Braves.  It  may  be 
added,  that  the  immediate  success  which  attended  the 


oclamation   afforded    striking   confirmation   of    what 

ord  Elgin  had  always  said,  that  the  best  way  of  sup- 
pressing provincial  disturbances  was  by  bringing  pres- 
tre  to  bear  on  the  Imperial  power. 
Stianghae. —  Sunday,    October    10th. — We    have    not    done 
ich  yet,  which  is  the  cause  of  my  having  written  less  than 
aal  during  the  last  few   days.      I   have  reason    to  suspect  Subter- 
it  the  Commissioners  came  here  with  some  hope  that  they    uges' 
ght  make  difficulties  about  some  of  the  concessions  obtained 
—  the  Treaty,  with  a  kind  of  notion  perhaps  that  they  might 
continue  to  bully  us  at  Canton.     If  I  had  departed,  I  think  it 
probable  enough  that  everything  would  have  been  thrown  into 
confusion,   and  the  grand  result  of  proving  that  my  Treaty 
was  waste  paper  might  have  been  attained.     I  have  thought  it 
necessary  to  take  steps  to  stop  this  sort  of  thing  at  once,  so  I 
have  sent  some  very  peremptory  letters  to  the  Commissioners 
about  Canton,  refusing  to  have  anything  to  say  to  them  till  I 
am  satisfied  on  this  point,  &c.     I  have  also,  through  a  secret  defeated 
channel,  had  the  hint  conveyed  to  them,  that  if  they  do  not  give  ^  firm" 
me  ful  Isatisfaction  at  once  I  am  capable  of  going  off  to  Tien- 
tsin again, — a  move  which  would  no  doubt  cost  their  heads  to 
both  Kweiliang  and  Hwashana.     I  have  already  extorted  from 
them  a  proclamation  announcing  the  Treaty,  and  I  have  now 
demanded  that  they  shall  remove  the  Governor-General  of  the 
Canton  provinces  from  office,  and  siippress  the  War  Committee 
of  the  gentry. 

October  16th. — Yes,  the  report  of  the  conclusion  of  a  Treaty 
which  was  conveyed  so  rapidly  overland  to  St.  Petersburg 
was  true,  and  yet  I  am  not  on  my  way  home !  .  .  .  Do  not 
think  that  I  am  indifferent  to  this  delay.  It  is  however,  for 
the  moment,  inevitable.  Everything  would  have  been  lost  if 
I  had  left  China.  The  violence  and  ill-will  which  exist  in 
Hong-kong  are  something  ludicrous.  .  .  .  As  it  is,  matters 
are  going  on  very  fairly  with  the  Imperial  Commissioners,  and 
I  expect  an  official  visit  from  them  this  day  at  noon.  The 
English  mail  arrived  yesterday.  .  .  .  The  visit  of  the  Com- 
missioners went  off  very  well.  I  think  that  they  have  accepted 
the  situation,  and  intend  to  make  the  best  of  it. 

October  19th. — Yesterday  I  returned  the  visit  of  the  Com- 
missioners, going  in  state,  with  a  guard,  &c.,  into  the  city. 


We  had  a  Chinese  repast — birds'-nest  soup,  sharks'  fins,  &c. 
I  tried  to  put  them  at  their  ease,  after  our  disagreeable  en- 
counters at  Tientsin.  They  seemed  disposed  to  be  conversable 
and  friendly.  The  Governor-General  of  this  province,  who  is 
one  of  them,  is  considered  a  very  clever  man,  and  he  appears 
to  have  rather  a  notion  of  taking  a  go-ahead  policy  with 

The  The  chief  matter  that  remained  to  be  arranged  was 

the  settlement  of  certain  trade-regulations,  supplemental 
to  the  Treaty,  involving  a  complete  revision  of  the 

The  A  tariff  is  not  usually  a  matter  of  general  interest ; 

but  this  tariff  is  of  more  than  mere  commercial  import- 
ance, as  having  for  the  first  time  regulated,  and  there- 
fore  legalised,  the  trade  in  opium.1  Hitherto  this  article 
had  been  mentioned  in  no  treaty,  but  had  been  left  to 
the  operation  of  the  Chinese  municipal  law,  which  pro- 
hibited it  altogether.  But  the  Chinese  would  have  it ; 
there  was  no  lack  of  foreign  traders,  chiefly  British  and 
American,  ready  to  run  the  risk  of  smuggling  it  for  the 
sake  of  the  large  profits  to  be  made  upon  it;  and  the 
custom-house  officials,  both  natives  and  foreign  in- 
spectors, hardly  even  kept  up  the  farce  of  pretending 
to  ignore  the  fact.  At  one  port,  indeed,  the  authorities 
exacted  from  the  opium  traders  a  sort  of  hush-money, 
equivalent  to  a  tax  about  6  per  cent,  ad  valorem.  It 
might  well  be  said  that  '  the  evils  of  this  illegal,  connived 
'  at,  and  corrupting  traffic  could  hardly  be  overstated; 
4  that  it  was  degrading  alike  to  the  producer,  the  im- 

1  The  text  of  the  Article  respect-  'which  British  subjects  are  authorised 

mg  opium  is  as  follows  :—<  Opium  'to  proceed  into  "the   interior  with 

will     henceforth    pay  thirty  taels  'passports  to  trade,  will  not  ex  tend  to 

per  picul   import  duty.     The   im-  <  it,  nor  will  those  of  Article  XXVIII. 

|  porter    will    sell   it   only    at    the  'of  the  same  Treaty,  by  which  the 

port     It  will  be  carried  into  the  ' transit-dues  are  regulated;  the  tran- 

interior  by  Chinese  only,  and  only  <  sit-dues  on  it  will  be  arranged  as  the 

( as  Chinese  property ;   the  Foreign  <  Chinese  Government  see  fit ;  nor,  in 

.der  will  not  be  allowed  to  accom-  <  future  revisions  of  the  Tariff,  is  the 

^    ^  Provi8ionsof  Article  'rule  of  revision   to   be  applied   to 

the  Treaty  of  Tientsin,  by  <  opium  as  to  other  goods.' 


porter,  the  official,  whether  foreign  or  Chinese,  and  the 


To  remedy  these  evils  two  courses  were  open.     One 

is  effective  prohibition,  with  the  assistance  of  the 
'oreign  Powers;  but  this,  the  Chinese  Commissioners 

linitted,  was  practically  hopeless,  mainly  owing  to  the 
iveterate  appetite  of  their  people  for  the  drug.  The 
other  remained  :  regulation  arid  restriction,  by  the  impo- 
sition of  as  high  a  duty  as  could  be  maintained  without 
giving  a  stimulus  to  smuggling.  It  was  not  without 
much  consideration  that  Lord  Elgin  adopted  the  latter 
alternative ;  and  it  was  a  great  satisfaction  to  him  that 
his  views  on  this  subject  were  ultimately  shared  by  Mr. 
Reed,  the  Envoy  of  the  United  States,  who  had  come 
to  the  country  with  the  intention  of  supporting  the 
opposite  opinion. 

In  the  course  of  the  conferences  on  these  points, 
which  were  carried  on  in  the  most  friendly  spirit,  Lord 
Elgin  induced  the  Commissioners  to  make  a  separate 
agreement  that  he  should  be  permitted,  irrespectively 
of  the  conditions  imposed  by  the  Treaty,  to  make  an 
expedition  up  the  great  river  Yangtze  Kiang;  a  permis- 
sion of  which  he  gladly  availed  himself,  not  only  for  the 
sake  of  exploring  a  new  and  most  interesting  country, 
but  even  more  with  the  view  of  marking  how  entirely 
and  cordially  his  Treaty  was  accepted. 

Shanghae. — November  2nd. — You  will,  I  am  sure,  see  how 
necessary  it  has  been  for  me  to  protract  my  stay  to  this 
time.  The  systematic  endeavour  to  make  it  appear  that  my 
work  was  a  failure  could  be  counteracted  only  by  my  own 
presence.  The  papers,  £c.,  from  England  are  complimentary 
enough  about  the  Treaty,  but  some  of  the  accounts  which  have 
gone  home  are  somewhat  exaggerated,  and  perhaps  there  will 
be  a  reaction.  .  .  .  More  particularly,  I  find  a  hope  expressed 
that  we  have  plundered  the  wretched  Chinese  to  a  greater  ex- 
tent than  is  the  case.  .  .  .  Meanwhile,  I  have  achieved  one 
object,  which  will  be,  I  think,  the  crowning  act  of  my  mission. 
I  have  arranged  with  the  Imperial  Commissioners  that  I  am  to 

280  FIRST  MISSION   TO   CHINA.  On.  XI. 

proceed  up  the  river  Yangtze.  The  Treaty  only  provides  that 
it  shall  be  open  when  the  Rebels  have  left  it.  I  daresay  this 
will  give  rise  to  comments.  If  so,  I  shall  have  anticipated 
them,  by  going  up  the  river  myself.  I  shall  take  with  me  my 
own  squadron  (what  I  had  in  Japan).  The  weather  is  beauti- 
ful ;  quite  cool  enough  for  comfort.  We  shall  visit  a  region 
which  has  never  been  seen,  except  by  a  stray  missionary.  I 
shall  lose  by  this  move  some  three  weeks,  but  I  do  not  think 
they  will  be  really  lost,  because  it  will  give  so  very  complete  a 
demonstration  of  the  acceptance  of  the  Treaty  by  the  Chinese 
authorities,  that  even  Hong-kong  will  be  silenced. 

November   6th. — I   hoped  to   have  started  to-day,  but  am 
obliged  to  put  off  till  Monday,  as  the  tariff  is  not  yet  ready  for 
signature.     I  grieve  over  every  day  lost,  which  protracts  our 
separation.     I  see  that  in  the  very  flattering  article  of  the  Times 
of  September  7th,  which  you  quote,  it  is  implied  that  when  I 
signed  the  Treaty,  I  had  done  my  work,  and  that  the  responsi- 
bility of  seeing  that  it  was  carried  out  rests  with  others.     If 
this  be  true  —  and  you  will  no  doubt  think  so — I  might  have 
returned  at  once,  at  least  after  Japan.     But  is  it  true  ?     Could 
I,  in  fairness  to  my  country,  or,  in  what  I  trust  you  believe 
comes  second  in  the  rank  of  motives  with  me,  to  my  own  repu- 
tation, leave  the  work  which  I    had  undertaken   unfinished  ? 
.  .  .  Besides,  I  own  that  I  have  a  conscientious  feeling  on  the 
subject.     I  am  sure  that  in  our  relations  with  these  Chinese  we 
have  acted  scandalously,  and  I  would  not  have  been  a  party  to 
the  measures  of  violence  which  have  taken  place,  if  I  had  not 
believed  that  I  could  work  out  of  them  some  good  for  them. 
Could  I  leave  this,  the  really  noblest  part  of  my  task,  to  be 
worked  out  by   others  ?     Anyone    could   have   obtained   the 
Treaty  of  Tientsin.     What  was  really  meritorious  was,  that  it 
should  have  been  obtained  at  so  small  a  cost  of  human  suffer - 
i  ing.     But  this  is  also  what  discredits  it  in  the  eyes  of  many,  of 
<.  almost  all  here.     If  we  had  carried  on  Avar  for  some  years ;  if 
we  had  carried  misery  and  desolation  all  over  the  Empire ;  it 
would  have  been  thought  quite  natural  that  the  Emperor  should 
have  been  reduced  to  accept  the  terms  imposed  upon  him  at 
Tientsin.     But  to  do  all  this  by  means  of  a  demonstration  at 
Tientsin !  The  announcement  was  received  with  a  yell  of  derision 
'by  connoisseurs  and  baffled  speculators  in  tea.     And  indeed 
there  was  some  ground  for  scepticism.     It  would  have  been 


ry  easy  to  manage  matters  here,  so  as  to  bring  into  question 

the  privileges  which  we  had  acquired  by  that  Treaty.     Even 
we  should  have  gained  a  great  deal  by  it ;  because  when 

came  to  assert  those  rights  by  force,  we  should  have  had  a 
instead  of  a  bad  casus  belli.     But  I  was  desirous,  if  pos- 
sible, to  avoid  the  necessity  for  further  recurrence  to  force  ; 
El  it   required  some    skill  to  do    this.       This  has  been  my 
tive  for  protracting  my  stay. 
H.  M.  S.  '  Furious' — November  8th. — I  write  a  line  to  tell  The  tariff 
i  that   I  got    over    the  signature   of  my   tariff,    &c.,    very   slSned-      . 
satisfactorily  this  morning,  and  set  off  in  peace  with  all  men, 
including  Chinese  Plenipotentiaries,  and  colleagues  European 
and  American,  on  my  way  up  the  Yangtze  Kiang.      We  are 
penetrating  into  unknown  regions,  but  I  trust  shortly  to  be 
able  to  report  to  you  my  return,  and  all  the  novelties  I  shall 
have  seen. 

This  morning  at  ten,  I  went  to  a  temple  which  lies  exactly 
between  the  foreign  settlement  and  the  Chinese  town  of  Shang- 
hae,  to  meet  there  the  Imperial  Commissioners,  and  to  sign 
the  tariff.  We  took  with  us  the  photographs  which  Jocelyn 
had  done  for  them,  and  which  we  had  framed.  They  were 
greatly  delighted,  and  altogether  my  poor  friends  seemed  in 
better  spirits  than  I  had  before  seen  them  in.  We  passed 
from  photography  to  the  electric  telegraph,  and  I  represented 
to  them  the  great  advantage  which  the  Emperor  would  derive 
from  it  in  so  extensive  an  empire  as  China ;  how  it  would  make 
him  present  in  all  the  provinces,  &c.  They  seemed  to  enter 
into  the  subject.  The  conference  lasted  rather  more  than  an 
hour.  After  it,  I  returned  to  the  consulate,  taking  a  tender 
adieu  of  Gros  by  the  way.  I  embarked  at  1,  and  got  undei 
weigh  at  2  P.M.  .  .  .  The  tide  was  very  strong  against  us, 
so  we  have  not  made  much  way,  but  we  are  really  in  the 
Yangtze  river.  We  have  moored  between  two  flats  with  trees  Afloat 
upon  them;  the  mainland  on  the  left,  and  an  island  (Bush  Yangtze 
Island),  recently  formed  from  the  mud  of  the  river,  on  the  Kian&- 
right.  Though  the  earth  has  been  uninteresting,  it  has  not 
been  so  with  the  sky,  for  the  dark  shades  of  night,  which  have 
been  gathering  and  thickening  on  the  right,  have  been  con- 
fronted on  the  left  by  the  brightest  imaginable  star,  and  the 
thinnest  possible  crescent  moon,  both  resting  on  a  couch  of  deep 
and  gradually  deepening  crimson,  I  have  been  pacing  the 


bridge  between  the  paddle-boxes,  contemplating  this  scene, 
until  we  dropped  our  anchor,  and  I  came  down  to  tell  you  of 
this  my  first  experience  of  the  Yangtze.  And  what  will  the 
sum  of  those  experiences  be  ?  We  are  going  into  an  unknown 
region,  along  a  river  which,  beyond  Nankin,  has  not  been  navi- 
gated by  Europeans.  We  are  to  make  our  way  through  the 
lines  of  those  strange  beings  the  Chinese  Rebels.  We  are  to 
penetrate  beyond  them  to  cities,  of  the  magnitude  and  popula- 
tion of  which  fabulous  stories  are  told ;  among  people  who  have 
never  seen  Western  men ;  who  have  probably  heard  the  wildest 
reports,  of  us;  to  whom  we  shall  assuredly  be  stranger  than 
they  can  possibly  be  to  us.  What  will  the  result  be  ?  Will  it 
be  a  great  disappointment,  or  will  its  interest  equal  the  expec- 
tations it  raises  ?  Probably  before  this  letter  is  despatched  to 
you,  it  will  contain  an  answer  more  or  less  explicit  to  these 

Sunday,  November  14th. — Six  P.M. — We  have  just  dropped 
anchor,  some  eighty  miles  from  Woosung.  I  wish  that  you 
had  been  with  me  on  this  evening's  trip.  You  would  have 
enjoyed  it.  During  the  earlier  part  of  the  afternoon  we  were 
going  on  merrily  together.  The  two  gunboats  ahead,  the 
6  Furious  '  and  ( Retribution '  abreast,  sometimes  one,  sometimes 
the  other,  taking  the  lead.  After  awhile  we  (the  '  Furious ')  put 
out  our  strength,  and  left  gunboats  and  all  behind.  When  the 
sun  had  passed  the  meridian,  the  masts  and  sails  were  a  pro- 
tection from  his  rays,  and  as  he  continued  to  drop  towards  the 
water  right  ahead  of  us,  he  strewed  our  path,  first  with  glitter- 
ing silver  spangles,  then  with  roses,  then  with  violets,  through 
all  of  which  we  sped  ruthlessly.  The  banks  still  flat,  until  the 
last  part  of  the  trip,  when  we  approached  some  hills  on  the  left, 
not  very  lofty,  but  clearly  defined,  and  with  a  kind  of  dreamy 
softness  about  them,  which  reminded  one  of  Egypt.  Alto- 
gether, it  was  impossible  to  have  had  anything  more  charming 
in  the  way  of  yachting ;  the  waters  a  perfect  calm,  or  hardly 
crisped  by  the  breeze  that  played  on  their  surface.  We  rather 
wish  for  more  wind,  as  the  '  Cruiser '  cannot  keep  up  without  a 
little  help  of  that  kind. 

Aground.  November  16th.— Noon.— A  bad  business.  We  were  running 
through  a  narrow  channel  which  separates  Silver  Island  from 
the  mainland,  in  very  deep  water,  when  all  of  a  sudden  we 
were  brought  up  short,  and  the  ship  rolled  two  or  three  times 


and  left,  in  a  way  which  reminded  me  of  a  roll  which  we 
id  in  the  e  Ava'  immediately  after  starting  from  Calcutta.  On 
lat  occasion  we  saw  beside  us  the  tops  of  the  masts  of  a  ship, 
id  were  told  it  had  struck  on  the  same  sand-bank,  and  gone 
>wn  about  an  hour  before.  Our  obstacle  on  this  occasion  is 
rock  ;  a  very  small  one,  for  we  have  deep  water  all  around 
However,  here  we  are.  I  hope  our  ship  will  not  suffer 
>m  the  strain.  It  is  curious  that  in  this  narrow  pass,  where 
fifty  ships  went  through  and  returned  in  1842,  this  rock  should 
exist  and  never  have  been  discovered.  Six  P.M. — The  sun 
has  just  set  among  a  crowd  of  mountains  which  bound  the 
horizon  ahead  of  us,  and  in  such  a  blaze  of  fiery  light  that 
earth  and  sky  in  his  neighbourhood  have  been  all  too  glorious 
to  look  upon.  Standing  out  in  advance  on  the  edge  of  this  sea 
of  molten  gold,  is  a  solitary  rock,  about  a  quarter  of  the  size  of 
the  Bass,  which  goes  by  the  name  of  Golden  Island,  and  serves 
as  the  pedestal  of  a  tall  pagoda.  I  never  saw  a  more  beautiful 
scene,  or  a  more  magnificent  sunset ;  but  alas !  we  see  it  under 
rather  melancholy  circumstances,  for  after  six  hours  of  trying 
in  all  sorts  of  ways  to  get  off,  we  are  as  fast  aground  as  ever. 
We  are  now  lightening  the  ship.  Silver  Island  is  a  kind  of  Silver 
sacred  island  like  Potou,  but  very  much  smaller.1  I  went  lsland* 
ashore,  and  walked  over  it  with  a  bonze,  who  conversed  with 
Lay.  He  told  us  that  the  people  in  the  neighbourhood  are 
very  poor,  and  will  be  glad  that  foreigners  should  come  and 
trade  with  them.  The  bonzes  here  are  much  like  their  brethren 
of  Potou,  the  most  wretched-looking  of  human  beings.  Our 
friend  told  us  that  they  have  no  books  or  occupation  of  any 
kind.  Four  times  a  day  they  go  through  their  prayers.  He 
had  twelve  bald  spots  on  his  head,  which  were  the  record 
of  so  many  vows  he  had  taken  to  abstain  from  so  many  vices, 
which  he  enumerated.  I  gave  them  five  dollars  when  I  left 
the  island,  which  seemed  to  astonish  them  greatly.  I  asked 
him  what  would  happen  if  he  broke  his  vows.  He  said  that  he 
would  be  beaten  and  sent  away.  If  he  kept  them  he  hoped  to 
become  in  time  a  Buddha. 

1  In  an  official  despatch   he  de-  t  groups  of  bonzes,  in  their  grey  and 

scribes  it  as  '  a  solitary  rock  of  about  ( yellow  robes,  devoutly  lounging,  and 

'300  feet   in   height,    picturesquely  '  conscientiously  devoting  themselves 

'  clothed    with   natural   timber   and  '  to  the  duty  of  doing  absolutely  no- 

1  ruined  temples,  around  which  are  *  thing.' 
1  to  be  seen,  at  all  hours  of  the  day, 


November  l^th.—Six  P.M.— After  taking  150  tons  out  of  the 
ship,  we  have  just  made  an  attempt  to  get  her  off— in  vain. 
The  glorious  sun  has  again  set,  holding  out  to  us  the  same 
attractions  in  the  west  as  yesterday,  in  vain !  Here  we  remain, 
as  motionless  as  the  rock  on  which  we  are  perched.  I  have  not 
been  quite  idle,  however.  I  landed  about  noon  on  the  shore 
opposite  Silver  Island,  and  walked  about  three  miles  to  the  town 
of  Chin-kiang.  It  was  taken  by  us  in  the  last  war,  and  sadly 
maltreated,  but  since  then  it  has  been  captured  by  the  Kebels 
and  re-captured  by  the  Imperialists.  I  could  hardly  have 
imagined  such  a  scene  of  desolation.  I  do  not  think  there  is  a 
house  that  is  not  a  ruin.  I  believe  the  population  used  to  be 
about  300,000,  but  now  I  suppose  it  cannot  exceed  a  few  hun- 
dreds. The  people  are  really,  I  believe,  glad  to  see  us.  They 
hope  we  may  give  them  free  trade  and  protection  from  the 
Rebels.  A  commodore  and  post-captain  in  the  Chinese  navy 
came  off  to  us  this  afternoon.  They  were  very  civil,  offering 
to  do  anything  for  us  they  could.  They  tell  us  we  can  go  in 
this  ship  to  Hankow  and  the  Poyang  Lake.  We  have  found 
another  rock  beside  us,  and  only  think  that  this  should  not 
have  been  known  by  our  Navy  ! 

Afloat  November  I8t?t. — Eight  P.M. — At  about  6  P.M.  I  was  cross- 

again.  'ng  on  a  p}ank  over  a  gully,  on  my  return  from  an  expedition 
to  Golden  Island,  when  three  rounds  of  cheers  from  the 
'  Furious,'  about  a  mile  off,  struck  my  ear.  Three  rounds  of 
cheers,  followed  by  as  many  from  the  other  ships.  She  was 
off  the  rock  !  Some  250  tons  were  taken  out,  and  when  the  tide 
rose  she  came  off — nothing  the  worse !  and  our  time  has  not 
been  quite  lost,  for  this  is  an  interesting  place,  if  only  because 
of  the  insight  which  it  gives  into  the  proceedings  of  the  Rebels. 
Golden  Island  is  about  five  miles  from  here.  It  was  a  famous 
Buddhist  sanctuary,  and  contained  their  most  valuable  library. 
Its  temples  are  now  a  ruin. 

November  20th. — Noon. — Yesterday  I  took  a  long  walk,  not 
marked  by  any  noteworthy  incidents.  We  went  into  some  of 
the  cottages  of  the  small  farmers.  In  one  we  found  some  men 
smoking  opium.  They  said  that  they  smoked  about  80  cash 
(fourpence)  worth  a  day  :  that  their  wages  when  they  worked 
for  hire  were  120  cash  (sixpence).  The  opium  was  foreign 
(Indian) :  the  native  was  not  good.  I  asked  how  they  could 
provide  for  their  wives  and  families  if  they  spent  so  much  on 




opium.  They  said  they  had  land,  generally  from  two  to  three 
acres  apiece.  They  paid  about  a  tenth  of  the  produce  as  a 
tax.  They  were  very  good-humoured,  and  delighted  to  talk 
to  Wade  and  Lay.  They  appear  to  welcome  us  more  here 
than  in  other  places  I  have  visited  in  China. 

Eight  P.M. — We  have  been  under  fire.  The  orders  given  Fired 
on  our  approach  to  Nankin  were,  that  the  (  Lee '  should  go  in 
advance ;  that  if  fired  on,  she  should  hoist  a  flag  of  truce ;  if 
the  flag  of  truce  was  fired  on,  she  was  not  to  return  the  fire 
until  ordered  to  do  so.  It  was  a  lovely  evening,  and  the  sun 
was  sinking  rapidly  as  we  approached  Nankin,  the  '  Lee  '  about 
a  mile  in  advance.  I  was  watching  her,  and  saw  her  pass  the 
greater  part  of  the  batteries  in  front  of  the  town.  I  was  just 
making  up  my  mind  that  all  was  to  go  off  quietly,  when  a 
puff  of  smoke  appeared  from  a  fort,  followed  by  the  booming 
of  a  cannon.  The  '  Lee  '  on  this  hoisted  her  white  flag  in  vain  ; 
seven  more  shots  were  fired  from  the  forts  at  her  before  she 
returned  them.  Then,  to  be  sure,  we  began  all  along  the  line, 
all  the  forts  firing  at  us  as  we  came  within  their  range.  I  was 
on  the  paddlebox-bridge  till  a  shot  passed  very  nearly  over  our 
heads,  and  Captain  Osborn  advised  me  to  go  down.  We  were 
struck  seven  times ;  one  of  the  balls  making  its  way  into  my 
cabin.  In  our  ship  nobody  was  hit ;  but  there  was  one  killed 
and  two  badly  wounded  in  the  '  Retribution.'  We  have  passed 
the  town;  but  I  quite  agree  with  the  naval  authorities,  that 
we  cannot  leave  the  matter  as  it  now  stands.  If  we  were  to 
do  so,  the  Chinese  would  certainly  say  they  had  had  the  best 
of  it,  and  on  our  return  we  might  be  still  more  seriously 
attacked.  It  is  determined,  therefore,  that  to-morrow  we  shall 
set  to  work  and  demolish  some  of  the  forts  that  have  insulted 
us.  I  hope  the  Rebels  will  make  some  communication,  and 
enable  us  to  explain  that  we  mean  them  no  harm  ;  but  it  is 
impossible  to  anticipate  what  these  stupid  Chinamen  will  do. 

November  2lst. — Eleven  A.M. —  We  had  about  an  hour  and  a  Retribu- 
half  of  it  this  morning.     We  began  at  6  A.M.  at  the  nearest  t] 
fort,  and  went  on  to  two  or  three  others.     We  pounded  them 
pretty  severely,  and  very  few  shots  were  fired  in  return.    They 
seemed  to  have  exhausted  themselves  in  last  night's  attack. 
As  soon  as  my  naval  chiefs  thought  that  we  had  done  enough 
for  our  honour,    I  begged   them   to  go  on,  as  I  did  not  want 
to  have  to  hand  over  the  town  to  the  Imperialists,  who  are 

286  FIRST   MISSION   TO   CHINA.  Cn.  XI. 

hemming  it  round  on  every  side.  I  am  sorry  that  we  should 
have  been  forced  to  do  what  we  have  done ;  but  I  do  not  think 
we  could  have  acted  with  greater  circumspection.  ...  A  set 
of  Imperialist  junks  set  to  work  to  fire  at  the  town  as  we 
were  leaving  off,  throwing  their  shot  from  a  most  wonderfully 
safe  distance. 

Apologies.  November  22nd. — Last  night  a  letter  came  off  from  our 
'  humble  younger  brother '  (the  Rebel  chief),  praying  us  to 
join  them  in  annihilating  the  f  demons  '  (Imperialists).  I  sent 
them  in  reply  a  sort  of  proclamation  which  I  had  prepared  in 
the  morning,  intimating  that  we  had  come  up  the  river  pa- 
cifically; had  punished  the  Nankin  forts  for  having  insulted 
us,  from  which  persons  repeating  the  experiment  would  learn 
what  they  had  to  expect.  Later  at  night  a  present  of  twelve 
fowls  and  two  pieces  of  red  bunting  came  to  the  river  bank, 
from  some  villagers,  I  believe.  When  Captain  Ward  was  on 
shore  surveying,  two  Chinamen  came  to  him,  stating  that  an 
express  had  come  from  Nankin  to  say  that  the  attack  on  us 
was  a  mistake,  and  we  were  taken  for  Imperialists,  &c.  &c.  I 
hope,  therefore,  that  we  shall  have  no  more  trouble  of  this 

Woohoo.  November  23rd.— Six  P.M.— Arrived  off  Woohoo  at  about 
3  P.M.  We  passed  the  town,  and  anchored  just  above  it. 
It  is  in  the  hands  of  the  Rebels,  but  no  hostility  was  shown  to 
us.  Wade  has  been  on  shore  to  communicate  with  the  chiefs, 
who  are  very  civil,  but  apparently  a  low  set  of  Cantonese. 
The  place  where  he  landed  is  a  kind  of  entrenched  camp  ;  the 
town  about  three  miles  distant.  An  Imperialist  fleet  is  moored 
a  few  miles  up  the  river.  I  sent  Lay  to  communicate  with 
the  commanding  officer,  and  he  recommends  the  'Retribution' 
to  go  a  little  farther  on  to  a  place  in  the  possession  of  the 

November  24th. —  Ten  A.M. — We  set  off  this  morning  at  about 
6  A.M.  In  passing  the  fleet  we  begged  from  the  commander 
the  loan  of  a  pilot.  He  proves  to  be  a  Cantonese,  so  that  the 
active  spirits  on  both  sides  seem  to  come  from  that  quarter. 

warfie  ^e  as^e(^  kim  wny  the  Imperialists  do  not  take  Woohoo.  He 
says  they  have  no  guns  of  a  sufficient  size  to  do  anything  against 
the  forts,  but  that  about  twice  a  month  they  have  a  fight  on 
shore.  They  cut  off  the  heads  of  Rebels,  and  vice  versa,  when 
they  catch  each  other,  which  does  not  seem  to  happen  very 



often.  The  war,  in  short,  seems  to  be  carried  on  in  a  very  soft 
anner,  but  it  must  do  a  great  deal  of  mischief  to  the  country. 
While  I  was  dressing  I  was  called  out  of  my  cabin  to  see  a 
fight  going  on,  on  the  right  bank  of  the  river.  The  Rebels 
occupied  some  hills,  where  they  were  waving  flags  gallantly, 
and  the  Imperialists  were -below  them  in  a  plain.  We  saw 
only  two  or  three  cannon  shots  fired  while  we  passed.  As 
things  are  carried  on,  one  does  not  see  why  this  war  should  not 
last  for  ever.  My  friends,  the  Commissioners,  seem  to  have 
acted  in  good  faith  towards  me,  for  the  Chinese  naval  author- 
ities all  inform  me  that  they  had  been  forewarned  of  our  coming, 
and  ordered  to  treat  us  with  every  courtesy. 

November  25th. —  Ten  A.M. — We  have  just  passed  a  bit  of 
scenery  on  our  left,  which  reminds  me  of  Ardgowan,— a  range 
of  lofty  hills  in  the  background,  broken  up  by  deep  valleys 
and  hillocks  covered  with  trees ;  dark-green  fir,  and  hard  wood 
tinted  with  Canadian  autumn  colours,  running  up  towards  it 
from  the  river.  With  two  or  three  thousand  acres— what  a 
magnificent  situation  for  a  park  !  There  are  so  many  islets  in 
this  river  that  it  is  not  easy  to  speak  of  its  breadth,  but  its 
channel  still  continues  deep,  and,  with  occasional  exceptions, 
navigable  without  difficulty.  Six  P.M. — A  very  pretty  spec- 
tacle closed  this  day.  The  sun  was  dropping  into  the  western 
waters  before  us  as  we  approached  a  place  called  Tsong-yang, 
on  the  left  bank,  W^e  knew  it  was  the  station  of  an  Imperial  The 
fleet,  and  as  we  neared  it  we  found  about  thirty  or  forty  war- 
junks,  crowded  with  men  and  dressed  in  their  gaudiest  colours. 
Flags  of  every  variety  and  shape.  On  one  junk  we  counted 
twenty- one.  You  cannot  imagine  a  prettier  sight.  We  anchored, 
supposing  that  the  authorities  might  come  off  to  us.  As  yet,  how- 
ever, they  have  shown  no  disposition  to  do  so.  I  presume,  how- 
ever, that  the  display  is  a  compliment.  Figure  to  yourself  the 
gala  I  have  described  at  the  mouth  of  a  broad  stream  running  at 
right  angles  to  the  river  Yangtze,  and  up  which  the  town  lies, 
about  two  miles  off — the  river,  plains,  town  and  all,  surrounded 
by  an  amphitheatre  of  lofty  hills — and  you  will  have  an  idea  of 
the  scene  in  the  midst  of  which  we  are  anchored,  and  from 
which  the  golden  tints  of  sunset  are  now  gradually  fading  away. 
November  26th. — Noon. — We  have  just  had  another  sample 
of  this  very  unedifying  Chinese  warfare.  About  an  hour  ago  Under 
we  came  off  the  city  of  Nganching,  the  capital  of  the  province  re  a=am' 


of  Aganhoci — the  last  station  (so  we  are  assured)  in  the  hands 
of  the  Rebels.  As  we  neared  a  pagoda,  surrounded  by  a  crene- 
lated wall,  we  were  fired  upon  two  or  three  times.  We  thought 
it  necessary  to  resent  this  affront  by  peppering  the  place  for 
about  ten  minutes.  We  then  moved  slowly  past  the  town, 
unassaulted  till  we  reached  the  farther  corner,  when  the  idiots 
had  the  temerity  to  fire  again.  This  brought  us  a  second  time 
into  action.  It  is  a  sorry  business  this  fighting  with  the  people 
who  are  so  little  a  match ;  but  I  do  not  suppose  we  did  them 
much  harm,  and  it  was,  I  presume,  necessary  to  teach  them  that 
they  had  better  leave  us  alone.  Osborn,  who  was  aloft,  saw 
from  that  point  a  curious  scene.  The  Imperialists  (probably 
taking  advantage  of  our  vicinity)  were  advancing  on  the  town 
from  the  land  side  in  skirmishing  order,  waving  their  flags  and 
gambolling  as  usual.  The  Pagoda  Rebels  ran  out  of  it  as  soon 
as  we  began  to  fire,  and  found  themselves  tumbling  into  the 
arms  of  the  Imperialists.  We  passed  this  morning  a  narrow 
rocky  passage,  otherwise  the  navigation  has  been  easy. 
A  pilot.  Six  P.M. — Anchored  off  Tunglow,  a  walled  town,  nicely  situ- 

ated on  the  river.  The  sun  is  sinking  to  his  repose  through  a- 
mist,  red  and  round,  like  a  great  ball  of  fire.  The  pilot  is  the 
most  vivacious  Chinaman  I  have  seen, — inquiring  about  every- 
thing, proposing  to  go  to  England,  like  a  Japanese.  It  was 
from  the  naval  commander  at  Kiewhein  that  we  got  him.  Lay 
/  was  present  when  the  commodore  sent  for  him.  He  fell  on  his 
knees.  The  chief  informed  him  that  he  must  go  up  the  river 
with  us,  and  pilot  us.  f  That  is  a  public  service,'  says  the 
man,  (  and  if  your  Excellency  desires  it  I  must  go  :  but  I 
6  would  humbly  submit  that  I  have  a  mother  and  si&ter  who 
f  must  be  provided  for  in  my  absence.'  (  Certainly,'  said  the 
chief.  '  Then,'  answered  our  man,  e  I  am  ready  ;'  and  without 
j  further  a-do  he  got  into  the  boat  with  Lay  and  came  off  to  us. 
November  27th.— Eight  A.M. —We  started  well,  but  there  is 
such  a  fog  that  we  are  obliged  to  stop  till  it  clears.  Our  pilot 
went  ashore  last  night  at  Tunglow,  and  has  returned  with  the 
front  part  of  his  head  cleanly  shaved.  I  asked  him  what  the 
people  had  thought  of  our  appearance.  He  answered  that 
they  were  greatly  afraid  lest  we  should  fire  upon  them,  and 
their  hearts  at  first  went  pit-a-pat;  but  when  they  heard  from 
him  how  well  we  treated  him,  and  that  we  were  no  friends  to 
the  Rebels,  they  said  <  Poussa '  (( that's  Buddha's  doing '  or 
'  thank  God '). 

THE   'HEN  BARRIER.'  289 

November  28th. — Eleven  A.M. —  The  morning  began  as  usual :   Sand 

Im,  fair,  and  hazy.  At  about  nine  it  began  to  blow,  and  gra-  s 
lually  rose  to  a  gale,  causing  our  river  ripple  to  mimic  ocean 
raves,  and  the  dust  and  sand  to  fly  before  us  in  clouds,  obscur- 
ing earth  and  sky.  About  ten  we  approached  a  mountain  range, 
which  had  been  for  some  time  looming  on  the  horizon.  We 
found  we  had  to  pass  through  a  channel  of  about  a  quarter  of  a 
mile  wide  ;  on  our  left,  a  series  of  barren  hills,  bold  and  majestic- 
looking  in  the  mist ;  on  the  right,  a  solitary  rock,  steep,  conical- 
shaped,  and  about  300  feet  high.  On  the  side  of  it  a  Buddhist 
temple,  perched  like  a  nest.  The  hills  on  the  left  were  crowned 
by  walls  and  fortifications  built  some  time  ago  by  the  Rebels, 
and  running  over  them  in  all  manner  of  zigzag  and  fantastic 
directions.  I  have  seldom  seen  a  more  striking  bit  of  scenery. 
When  we  had  passed  through  we  found  more  hills,  with  inter- 
vals of  plains,  in  one  of  which  lay  the  district  city  of  Tongtze, 
enclosed  by  walls  which  run  along  the  top  of  the  hills  surround- 
ing it.  The  inhabitants  crowded  to  the  shore  to  witness  the 
strange  apparition  of  foreign  vessels. 

I  mentioned  a  rocky  passage  through  which  we  passed  on  The '  Hen 
the  morning  of  the  26th.  Ellis,  in  his  account  of  Lord  Bamer-' 
Amherst's  Embassy,  speaks  of  it  as  a  place  of  great  difficulty. 
A  series  of  rocks  like  stepping-stones  run  over  a  great  part, 
and  the  passage  is  obtained  by  sticking  close  to  the  left  bank. 
Our  pilot  tells  us  that  it  is  named  the  (  Hen  Barrier,'  and  for 
the  following  reason  :  Once  on  a  time,  there  dwelt  on  the 
right  bank  an  evil  spirit,  in  the  guise  of  a  rock,  shaped  like  a 
hen.  This  evil  spirit  coveted  some  of  the  good  land  on  the 
opposite  side,  and  proceeded  to  cross,  blocking  up  the  stream 
on  her  way.  The  good  spirits,  in  consternation,  applied  to  a 
bonze,  who,  after  some  reflection,  bethought  himself  of  a  plan 
for  arresting  the  mischief.  He  set  to  work  to  crow  like  a 
cock.  The  hen  rock,  supposing  that  it  was  the  voice  of  her 
mate,  turned  round  to  look.  The  spell  was  instantly  broken. 
She  dropped  into  the  stream,  and  the  natives,  indignant  at  her 
misdeeds,  proceeded  into  it  and  cut  off  her  head  ! 

I  have  been  skimming  over  a  Chinese  book,  translated  by 
Stanislas  Julien:  the  travels  of  a  Buddhist.  It  is  full  of  legends 
of  the  character  of  that  which  I  have  now  narrated. 

November  29th. — 12.30  P.M. — We  have  been  very  near  the 
bank  this  morning.  I  see  more  cattle  on  the  farms  than  in 




CH.  XI. 




other  parts  of  China.  They  are  generally  buffaloes,  used  for 
agricultural  purposes  ;  and  when  out  at  pasture,  a  little  boy  is 
usually  perched  on  the  back  of  each  to  keep  it  from  straying. 
Six  P.M. — I  went  ashore  to  pass  the  time,  and  got  into  conversa- 
tion with  some  of  the  peasants.  One  man  told  us  that  he  had 
about  three  acres  of  land,  which  yielded  him  about  twenty  piculs 
(1£  ton)  of  pulse  or  grain  annually,  worth  about  forty  dollars. 
His  tax  amounted  to  about  three-fourths  of  a  dollar.  There  was 
a  school  in  the  hamlet.  Children  attending  it  paid  about  two 
dollars  a  year.  But  many  were  too  poor  to  send  their  children 
to  school.  We  went  into  another  cottage.  It  was  built  of 
reeds  on  the  bare  ground.  In  a  recess  screened  off  were  two 
young  men  lying  on  the  ground,  with  their  lamp  between 
them,  smoking  opium. 

November  30^/i. — We  are  now  in  waters  which  no  English- 
man, as  far  as  is  known,  has  ever  seen.     Lord  Amherst  passed 
into  the  Poyang  Lake  through  the  channel  I  described  yester- 
day, and  so  on  to  Canton.     We  are  proceeding  up  the  river 
Yangtze.     Hue  came  down  this  route,  but  by  land.     I  men- 
tioned the  sand-drifts  two  days  ago.     Some  of  the  hills  here 
look  like  the  sand-hills  of  Egypt,  from  the  layers  of  sand  with 
which  they  are  covered.     What  with  inundations  in  summer 
and  sand-drifts  in  winter,  this  locality  must  have  some  draw- 
backs as   a  residence.      Noon. — Anchored  again.      We  have 
before  us  in  sight  the  pagoda  of  Kew-kiang ;  one  of  the  prin- 
cipal points  which  we  proposed  to  reach  when  we  embarked  on 
this  expedition.  .  .  .  We  have  not  much  to  hope  for  from  our 
Chinese  pilot.     Our  several  mishaps  have  disheartened  him. 
He  said  to-day  with  a  sigh,  when  reminded  that  we  had  found 
no  passage   in  the  channel   he  had   specially  recommended: 
'  The  ways  of  waters   are  like  those   of  men,  one  day  here, 
another  there,  who  can  tell!' — a  promising  frame  of  mind  for 
one's  guide  in  this  intricate  navigation  !    Five  P.M.— We  found 
a  channel  in  about  an  hour,  and  came  on  swimmingly  to  Kew- 
kiang.      From  the  water  it   looked    imposing  enough.      An 
enclosing  wall  of  about  five  miles  in  circuit,  and  in  tolerable 
condition.      I  landed    at    3  P.M.       What  a  scene  of  desola- 
tion within  the  wall!     It  seems  to  have  suffered  even  more 
than   Chin-kiang  Foo.      A  single  street  running  through  a 
wilderness  of  weeds  and  ruins.     The  people  whom  we  ques- 
tioned said  the  Rebels  did  it  all.     The  best  houses  we  found 

1858.  UNKNOWN   WATERS.  291 

were  outside  the  city  in  the  suburb.  We  were  of  course  very 
strange  in  a  town  where  the  European  dress  has  never  been 
seen,  but  the  people  were  as  usual  perfectly  good-natured, 
delighted  to  converse  with  Lay,  and  highly  edified  by  his 
jokes.  We  did  some  commissariat  business.  We  had  with  us 
only  Mexican  dollars,  and  when  we  offered  them  at  the  first 
shop  the  man  said  he  did  not  like  them  as  he  did  not  know 
them.  Lay  said,  s  Come  to  the  ship  and  we  will  give  you 
Sycee  instead.'  '  See  how  just  they  are,'  said  a  man  in  the 
crowd  to  his  neighbour ;  f  they  do  not  force  their  coin  upon 
him.'  This  kind  of  ready  recognition  of  moral  worth  is  quite 
Chinese,  and  nothing  will  convince  me  that  a  people  who  have 
this  quality  so  marked  are  to  be  managed  only  by  brutality 
and  violence. 

December  1st. — 1.30  P.M. — We  have  just  anchored.  About 
an  hour  ago,  we  turned  sharply  to  our  left,  and  found  on  that 
hand  a  series  of  red  sand-bluffs  leading  to  a  range  of  consider- 
able blue  hills  which  faced  us  in  the  distance ;  the  river,  as 
has  been  the  case  since  we  left  the  Rebel  country,  was 
covered  with  small  country  junks,  and  here  and  there  a  man- 
darin one,  covered  with  flags,  and  with  its  highly-polished 
brass  gun  in  the  prow.  The  scene  had  become  more  interest- 
ing, but  the  navigation  more  difficult,  for  the  gunboats  began 
hoisting  (  3  '  and  (  4,'  and  all  manner  of  ominous  numbers.  So 
we  had:  (  Hands  to  the  port  anchor,'  '  slower,'  and  f  as  slow 
as  possible,'  '  a  turn  astern,'  and  after  a  variety  of  fluctuations, 
'  drop  the  anchor.'  Six  P.M. — We  had  to  go  a  short  way 
back,  and  to  pass,  moreover,  a  very  shallow  bit  of  the  river ; 
that  done  we  went  on  briskly,  and  bore  down  upon  the  moun- 
tain range  which  we  descried  in  the  forenoon.  At  about  four 
we  came  up  to  it  and  turned  to  the  right,  with  the  mountains 
on  our  left  and  the  town  of  Wooseuh  on  our  right,  while  the 
setting  sun,  glowing  as  ever,  was  "throwing  his  parting  rays 
over  one  of  the  most  beautiful  scenes  I  ever  witnessed.  The 
whole  population  crowded  to  the  river  bank  to  see  this  won- 
derful apparition  of  the  barbarian  fire-ships.  The  hills  rising  Highland 
from  the  water  had  a  kind  of  Loch  Katrine  look.  We  have 
made  some  thirty-five  miles  to-day,  but  have  still,  I  fear,  about 
100  to  go. 

December  2d. — Eleven  A.M. — A  very  prosperous  forenoon. 
Mountains  soon  rose  to  the  right,  similar  to  those  on  the  left. 

u  2 


We  cut  our  way  through  deep  calm  water,  amid  these  hills 
of  grey  rock  and  fir  woods,  for  some  three  hours,  and  might 
really  have  imagined  ourselves  in  the  finest  loch  scenery  of  the 
Highlands.  Numbers  of  little  boats^  dotted  the  river,  and 
moved  off  respectfully  to  the  right  and  left  as  we  approached. 
At  about  ten  we  passed  out  of  the  mountain  range,  and  soon 
after  neared  Chechow,  from  which  the  population  seemed  to  be 
moving,  as  we  inferred  from  the  numbers  of  small-footed 
women  hobbling  along  the  bank  with  their  household  effects. 
We  were  boarded  by  a  mandarin-boat,  the  officer  of  which 
informed  me  that  he  had  been  sent  by  the  Governor-General 
to  pay  his  respects.  He  said  that  the  Rebels  were  at  no  great 
distance,  and  the  people  were  flying  for  fear  of  their  attacking 
the  town.  He  added,  however,  that  they  (the  Imperialists) 
had  a  large  force  of  cavalry  in  the  neighbourhood,  and  that 
they  would  check  the  exodus  of  the  inhabitants.  Between 
Imperialists  and  Rebels,  the  people  must  have  a  nice  time  of 
it.  His  best  piece  of  news  was  that  we  are  only  about  fifty 
miles  from  Hankow.  I  trust  that  it  may  be  so,  for,  despite 
my  love  of  adventure,  I  shall  be  glad  when  we  are  able  to 
turn  back  and  proceed  homewards. 

Popular  The  reason  which  the  pilot  assigns  for  the  destruction  of 

the  reli-  tne  temples  by  the  Rebels  is  the  following  :  '  At  present,'  says 
ne>  f  tne  rich  have  a  great  advantage  over  the  poor.  They 
'  can  afford  to  spend  a  great  deal  more  in  joss-sticks  and  other 
f  offerings,  so  that,  of  course,  the  gods  show  them  a  very  undue 
(  allowance  of  favour.  The  Rebels,  who  do  not  approve  of 
'  these  invidious  distinctions,  get  rid  of  them  by  destroying  the 
'  temples  altogether.'  This  is  evidently  a  popular  version  of 
the  religious  character  of  the  Rebel  movement.  A  Buddhist 
priest,  whom  I  saw  at  Kew-kiang,  said  that  the  Rebels  had 
destroyed  some  forty  temples  there.  *  They  do  not  worship 
'in  temples,'  he  said,  'but  they  have  a  worship  of  their  own.' 
The  room  in  which  Mr.  Wade  saw  the  Rebel  chief  at  Woo- 
how  was  said  to  be  their  place  of  worship.  It  had  no  altar, 
nor  anything  to  distinguish  it  as  such. 

December  4th. — Six  P.M. — Anchored  again  for  the  night,  not 
half  a  mile  farther  than  yesterday.  An  island  in  process  of 
formation,  covered  at  high  water,  separates  the  two  anchorages. 
We  had  to  go  back,  &c.,  and  ended  the  day's  work  by  getting 
through  a  very  tight  place  in  a  most  masterly  manner  ;  leads- 

1858.  HANKOW.  293 

men  sounding  at  the  bow  and  stern,  as  well  as  at  the  two 
paddles,  and  the  e  Lee'  and  (  Cruiser '  stationed  as  pivots  at  the 
edges  of  the  shoal.  We  had  to  perform  a  sort  of  letter  S  round 
them,  and  we  passed  by  the  latter  so  near,  that  we  might  have 
shaken  hands  with  the  crew.  I  should  be  amused  with  these 
triumphs,  were  it  not  for  the  reflection  that  we  have  to  repeat 
them  all  in  returning,  with  a  favouring  current,  which  will 
make  our  task  more  difficult. 

December  6th. —  Threep.'M. — At  Hankow;  four  weeks,  almost  Hankow, 
to  a  minute,  since  we  left  Shanghae.  We  have  brought  this 
ship  to  a  point  about  600  miles  from  the  sea, — a  feat,  I  should 
think,  unprecedented  for  a  vessel  of  this  size.  We  have  reached 
the  heart  of  the  commerce  of  China.  At  first  sight,  I  am 
disappointed  in  the  magnitude  of  the  place.  I  am  anchored 
off  the  mouth  of  the  river  Han,  which  separates  Hankow  and 
Han-yang  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Yangtze.  On  its  right  bank 
is  Ouchang  Foo.  I  do  not  see  room  for  the  eight  millions  of 
people,  at  which  rumour  puts  the  population  of  these  three 
towns.  The  scene  is  very  animated.  We  are  surrounded  by 
hundreds  of  boats,  and  the  banks  are  a  sea  of  heads.  My 
gentlemen  are  gone  ashore.  I  think  I  shall  get  through  the 
streets  more  conveniently  to-morrow  morning. 

December  1th. — Four  P.M. — I  have  just  returned  from  a  walk 
through  Hankow.  Like  all  the  places  we  have  visited  on  this 
trip,  it  seems  to  have  been  almost  entirely  destroyed  by  the 
Rebels  ;  but  it  is  recovering  rapidly,  and  exhibits  a  great  deal 
of  commercial  activity.  The  streets  are  wider  and  shops  larger 
than  one  generally  finds  them  in  China.  When  '  foreign ' 
parties  landed  yesterday,  they  were  a  good  deal  pestered  by 
officious  mandarin  followers,  who,  by  way  of  keeping  order,  kept 
bambooing  all  the  unhappy  natives  who  evinced  a  desire  to  see 
the  foreigners.  In  order  to  defeat  this  plan,  which  was  mani- 
festly adopted  with  the  view  of  preventing  us  from  coming  in 
contact  with  the  people,  I  landed  near  Han-yang,  on  the  side 
of  the  river  Han  opposite  to  Hankow,  and  walked  in  the  first 
instance  to  the  top  of  a  hill  where  there  is  a  kind  of  fortress, 
from  which  we  had  a  good  view  of  Ouchang,  Han-yang,  and 
Hankow.  The  day  was  rather  misty,  but  we  saw  enough  to 
satisfy  us  that  there  must  have  been  great  exaggeration  in  pre- 
vious reports  of  the  magnitude  of  these  places.  Some  of  the 
mandarin  satellites  tried  to  accompany  us  on  our  walk,  but 


we  soon  sent  them  about  their  business.  After  seeing  all  we 
wished  of  the  view,  we  descended  and  crossed  the  river  Han  in 
a  sanpan  to  Hankow,  where  we  walked  about  for  some  hours, 
followed  by  a  crowd  of  perfectly  respectable  people.  As  some 
hint  was  conveyed  to  me  implying  that  it  was  hoped  we  would 
not  go  to  Ouchang,  I  have  sent  a  letter  to  the  Governor-General 
of  the  Two  Hoo,  who  resides  there,  informing  him  that  I  intend 
to  call  upon  him  to-morrow.  I  shall  go  with  as  large  an  escort 
as  I  can  muster.  These  Chinamen  are  such  fools  that,  with  all 
my  desire  to  befriend  them,  I  find  it  sometimes  difficult  to  keep 
patience  with  them.  They  are  doing  all  they  can  to  prevent  us 
from  having  any  dealings  with  the  people  ;  refusing  our  dollars, 
sending  us  supplies  as  presents,  &c.  I  have  sent  back  the 
presents,  stating  that  I  must  have  supplies,  and  that  I  will  pay 
for  them. 

December  8th. —  Eleven  A.M. — An  officer  has  been  off  from 
the  Governor-General,  proposing  that  my  visit  should  take  place 
to-morrow,  in  order  that  there  may  be  sufficient  time  for  the 
preparations.  He  was  very  profuse  in  his  protestations  of 
good-will,  but  as  usual  there  were  a  number  of  little  points  on 
which  it  was  necessary  to  take  a  half-bullying  tone.  ( I  could  not 
c  have  a  chair  with  eight  bearers  ;  such  a  thing  had  never  been 
(  seen  at  Ouchang.  There  were  net  thirty  chairs  (the  number 
(  for  which  we  had  applied)  in  the  whole  place.'  '  Lord  Elgin 
'  won't  land  with  less,  do  as  you  please,'  was  the  answer  given. 
Of  course,  the  difficulties  immediately  vanished.  Considerable 
indignation  was  expressed  at  the  fact  that  some  of  our  officers 
had  been  prevented  from  entering  the  town  of  Ouchang  yester- 
day. A  hope  was  expressed  that  nobody  would  land  on  the 
Ouchang  side  to-day ;  all  would  be  arranged  by  to-morrow  to 
our  satisfaction,  &c.  &c.  So,  after  an  interview,  in  which  there 
was  the  necessary  admixture  of  the  bitter  and  the  sweet,  the 
officer  was  sent  back  to  his  master.  Supplies  are  coming  off  in 
abundance  to  the  ships.  In  short,  the  people  are  most  desirous 
to  buy  and  sell,  if  the  authorities  will  only  leave  them  alone. 
Six  P.M. — I  have  had  a  long  walk  on  the  same  side  of  the  river 
as  yesterday.  We  first  went  through  the  whole  depth  of  Han- 
kow, on  a  line  parallel  with  the  river  Han.  We  estimated  our 
walk  in  this  direction  at  about  two  miles,  but  a  good  deal  of  it 
was  along  a  single  street  flanked  on  both  sides  by  ruins.  We 


then  embarked  in  a  sanpan  and  came  down  the  Han,  passing 
through  a  multitude  of  junks  of  great  variety  in  shape  and  cargo. 
We  landed  near  its  mouth  on  the  Han-yang  side,  and  walked 
to  that  town,  which  is  a  Foo  or  prefectoral  city,  and  walled.  It 
contains  the  remains  of  some  buildings  of  pretension,  triumphal 
arches,  &c.,  which  imply  that  it  must  have  been  a  place  of 
some  distinction,  but  it  has  been  sadly  maltreated  by  the 

December  9th. — Four  P.M. — The  day  is  rainy,  and  the  purser 
complains  of  difficulty  in  making  his  purchases  yesterday,  and 
that  coal  is  not  coming  off  to  us  as  promised,  &c.  ;  so  I  thought 
it  expedient  to  do  a  little  in  the  bullying  line  to  keep  all  straight. 
When  the  Governor- General  therefore  sent  off  this  morning  to 
say  that  he  was  ready  to  receive  me,  I  despatched  Wade  and 
Lay  to  inform  him  in  reply  that  the  day  was  too  bad  for  me  to 
land,  and  that  I  had  to  complain  of  the  difficulties  put  in  my 
way  about  money,  &c.  He  received  them  in  person,  and  was 
very  gracious;  said  that  he  had  been  at  Canton;  that  he  under- 
stood all  about  us ;  that  if  he  had  been  there,  Yeh  would  never 
have  behaved  as  he  did ;  that  in  former  days  the  Chinese 
Government  had  bullied  us ;  that  we  had  bullied  them  of  late 
years ;  that  it  was  much  better  that  henceforward  we  should 
settle  matters  reasonably;  that  he  was  desirous  to  show  me  every 
attention  in  his  power ;  that  when  the  port  should  be  open  he 
would  do  all  he  could  to  promote  commerce  and  good  under- 
standing. In  short,  he  spoke  very  sensibly.  It  is  exceedingly 
probable  that  if  he  had  not  got  a  little  check,  he  might  have 
kept  us  at  as  great  a  distance  as  possible ;  but,  be  that  as  it  may, 
it  is  just  another  proof  of  how  easy  it  is  to  manage  the  Chinese 
by  a  little  tact  and  firmness.  We  are  now  loading  coal,  flour, 
&c.,  as  fast  as  we  can  take  it  on  board. 

December  Wth. — Six  P.M. — This  day  broke  fine  and  clear,  so  Visit  to 
I  sent  off  to  the  Governor-General  to  tell  him  that  if  he  would 
receive  me  I  would  visit  him  at  2  P.M.  We  went  with  con- 
siderable pomp.  A  salute  going  and  returning.  A  guard  of 
eighty  marines  and  sailors,  and  a  party  of  about  thirty  in  chairs. 
We  passed  through  about  a  mile  of  the  town  of  Ouchang  Foo, 
and  were  received  by  the  Governor-General  and  his  suite,  dressed 
in  their  best.  The  ceremony  was  as  usual ;  conversation  and 
tea  in  the  front  room,  followed  by  a  more  substantial  repast  in 



CH.  XI. 




the  second.  I  have  never,  however,  seen  a  reception  in  China 
so  sumptuous,  the  authorities  so  well  got  up,  and  the  feeding 
so  well  arranged.  The  Governor-General  is  a  good-looking  man, 
less  artificial  in  his  manner  than  Chinese  authorities  usually 
are.  He  is  a  Mantchoo.  It  is  rather  hard  to  make  conversa- 
tion when  one  is  seated  at  the  top  of  a  room  surrounded  by 
some  hundred  people,  and  when,  moreover,  one  has  nothing  to 
say,  and  that  nothing  has  to  be  said  through  an  interpreter. 
However,  the  ceremony  went  off  very  well.  After  it,  I  got  rid 
of  my  ribbon  and  star,  and  took  a  stroll  incog,  through  Han- 
kow, where  we  bought  some  tea.  Ouchang  seems  a  large  town 
with  some  good  houses  and  streets,  but  sadly  knocked  about 
by  the  Rebels.  We  are  getting  all  our  supplies,  &c.,  on  board, 
and  hope  to  start  to-morrow  evening. 

December  llth. — Six  P.M. — This  day  the  Governor-General 
paid  me  a  return  visit.  We  received  him  with  all  honour ; 
manned  yards  of  all  four  ships,  and  gave  him  a  salute  of  three 
guns  from  each.  It  has  been  a  beautiful  day,  and  the  scene 
was  a  striking  one  when  he  came  off  in  a  huge  junk  like  a 
Roman  trireme,  towed  by  six  boats,  bedizened  by  any  number 
of  triangular  flags  of  all  colours.  A  line  of  troops,  horse  and 
foot,  lined  the  beach  along  which  he  passed  from  the  gate  of 
the  city  to  the  place  of  embarkation  ;  quaint  enough  both  in 
uniform  and  armament,  but  still  with  something  of  a  preten- 
sion to  both  about  them.  I  have  seen  nothing  in  China  with 
so  much  display  and  style  about  it  as  the  turn-out  of  the 
Governor-General  of  the  Two  Hoo,  both  to-day  and  yesterday. 
We  showed  him  the  ship,  feasted  him,  photographed  him,  and 
entertained  him  one  way  or  another  for  upwards  of  three  hours. 
After  he  had  departed,  I  landed  on  the  Ouchang  side,  and 
walked  through  the  walled  city.  Some  objection  was  made 
to  our  entering,  as  we  went  through  a  side  instead  of  the  main 
gate,  but  we  persevered  and  carried  our  point.  The  city  is  a 
fine  one,  about  the  size  of  Canton,  but  much  in  ruins.  To- 
morrow at  six,  please  God,  we  set  forth  on  our  return.  I  may 
mention  as  an  illustration  of  the  state  of  Ouchang,  that  in 
walking  over  a  hill  in  the  very  centre  of  the  walled  town,  we 
put  up  two  brace  of  pheasants  ! 

December  12th. — Eleven  A.M. — We  are  on  our  way  back  to 
Shanghae.  I  am  very  glad  of  it,  because  we  have  accomplished 
all  the  good  we  could  possibly  expect  to  effect  at  Hankow,  and 


am  becoming  very  tired  of  the  length  of  time  which  our  ex- 

lition  has  lasted.     It  is  a  feat  to  have  reached  this  point  with 
tese  big  ships  at  this  season  of  the  year,  and  I  think  the  effect 

our  visit  will  be  considerable.  The  people  evidently  have  no 
)bjection  to  us,  and  the  resistance  opposed  by  the  authorities 
can  always  be  overcome  by  tact  and  firmness. 

December  \3th. — Nine  A.M. — At  about  eight  we  heaved 
anchor,  having  carefully  buoyed  this  very  awkward  passage. 
The  current  ran  about  four  miles  an  hour,  and  at  some  points 
where  the  leadsmen  were  calling  out  sixteen  and  seventeen 
feet,  the  channel  was  not  much  greater  than  the  width  of  the 
ship,  and  we  draw  about  fifteen  and  a  half  feet  of  water,  so  it 
was  a  nervous  matter  to  get  through.  To  make  the  vessel 
answer  the  helm  it  was  necessary  to  go  faster  than  the  current, 
and  difficult  to  do  this  without  proceeding  at  such  a  rapid  rate 
as  would,  if  we  had  chanced  to  take  the  ground,  have  stuck  us 
upon  it  immovably.  We  skirted  our  several  buoys  in  a  most 
masterly  manner,  and  are  now  anchored  till  they  have  been 
picked  up.  .  .  .  Six  P.M. — '  Where  we  had  eighteen  feet 
as  we  came  up,  we  cannot  find  fourteen  now,'  are  the  ominous 
words  which  Captain  Osborn  has  just  addressed  to  me  as  he 
reached  the  deck  from  a  surveying  expedition.  ...  It  looks 
a  little  serious,  for  I  fear  there  is  a  worse  place  beyond. 

December  14th. —  Six  P.M. — I  went  on  shore  this  morning  Peasantry, 
when  there  was  no  prospect  of  moving.  .  .  .  We  took  a  long 
walk,  conversing  with  the  peasants  who  live  in  a  row  of  cottages 
with  their  well-cultivated  lands  in  front  and  rear  of  their  dwell- 
ings ;  the  lands  are  generally  their  own,  and  of  not  more  than 
three  or  four  acres  in  extent  I 'should  think,  but  it  is  difficult 
to  get  accurate  information  from  them  on  such  points.  We 
found  one  rather  superior  sort  of  man,  who  said  he  was  a 
tenant,  and  that  he  paid  four  out  of  ten  parts  of  the  produce  of 
his  farm  to  the  landlord.  They  gave  me  the  impression  of 
being  a  well-to-do  peasantry.  Afterwards  I  walked  through 
the  country  town  of  Paho,  which  is  built  of  stone,  and  seem- 
ingly prosperous.  The  Rebels  had  destroyed  all  the  temples. 

December  15th. — Four  P.M. — At  about  one  we  had  passed 
the  village  of  Hwang-shih-kiang,  and  were  entering  that  part 
of  the  river  I  described  as  a  fine  site  for  a  Highland  deer 
forest,  when  the  '  Lee '  hoisted  the  (  negative  '  (the  signal  to 
stop).  She  had  got  on  a  rock,  where,  on  our  way  up,  we  had 


found  no  bottom  at  ten  fathoms.  I  landed  immediately,  and 
found  the  people  engaged  in  quarrying  and  manufacturing  lime 
from  the  hills  on  the  right  bank.  We  had  a  pleasant  walk ; 
the  day  being  beautiful,  and  the  scenery  very  fine.  They  sell 
their  lime  at  about  17  s.  per  ton  (200  cash  a  picul),  and  buy 
the  small  coal  which  they  employ  in  their  kilns  at  about  25s. 
(300  cash  a  picul).  I  wish  I  could  do  as  well  at  Broomhall  I 
Hunting  December  \lth. —  Ten  A.M. — The  gunboats  are  hunting  for 

channel.  a  channel.  ...  I  am  going  ashore.  On  this  day  last  year  I 
embarked  on  board  this  ship  for  the  first  time.  What  an 
eventful  time  I  have  spent  since  then  !  Four  P.M. — I  have 
returned  from  my  walk,  but,  alas !  no  good  news  to  greet  me. 
Only  eleven  feet  of  water,  where  we  found  seventeen  on  the 
way  up.  .  .  .  Our  walk  was  pleasant  enough,  though  it  rained 
part  of  the  time.  Some  of  the  gentlemen  shot,  for  the  whole 
of  China  is  a  preserve,  the  game  hardly  being  molested  by  the 
natives.  We  went  into  the  house  of  a  small  landowner  of 
some  three  or  four  acres ;  over  the  door  was  a  tablet  to  the 
honour  of  a  brother  who  had  gained  the  highest  literary  degree, 
and  was  therefore  eligible  for  the  highest  offices  in  the  State. 
The  owner  himself  was  not  so  literary,  and  had  bought  the 
degree  of  bachelor  for  108  taels  (about  35/.).  If  he  tried  to 
purchase  the  degree  of  master  he  would  have,  he  said,  1,000 
taels  to  pay,  besides  passing  through  some  kind  of  examination. 
We  asked  him  about  the  Rebels.  He  said  that  when  they 
visited  the  rural  districts,  they  took  whatever  they  pleased, 
saying  that  it  belonged  to  their  Heavenly  Father.  Before 
meat  they  make  a  prayer  to  the  Heavenly  Father,  ending  with 
a  vow  to  destroy  the  (  demons '  (Imperialists).  '  But,'  added 
my  informant,  '  they  are  poor  creatures,  and  their  Heavenly 
(  Father  does  not  seem  to  do  much  for  them.'  We  also  visited  a 
manufactory  where  they  were  extracting  oil  from  cotton-seed. 

December  I8th.—8ix  P.M.— We  are  to  try  a  channel,  such 
as  it  is,  to-morrow  morning.  I  landed  for  a  walk.  Wade  took 
a  gun  with  him.  We  saw  quantities  of  waterfowl  of  all  kinds. 
The  plain  on  the  left  bank  of  the  river  is  bounded  on  the  other 
side  by  a  pretty  lake.  The  plain  is  subject  to  inundations, 
and  seems  to  be  covered  by  a  bed  of  sand  of  about  five  feet  in 
thickness.  The  people  cultivate  it  by  trenching  for  the  clay 
beneath,  and  mixing  it  with  the  sand. 

December  19^.— 10.30  A.M.— The  <  Cruiser  '  went  through 


lis  bad  passage  safely.     We  followed,  and  are  now  aground. 

Anchors  are  being  laid  out  in  hopes  of.  dragging  the  ship  over. 
December  20th. — Eleven  A.M. — Our  difficulty  yesterday  was  Pressing 

>t  unexpected,  .  .  .  but  we  were  compelled  to  make  the 
attempt.  The  mud  was  very  soft,  and  as  we  pressed  against  it, 
kept  breaking  away  ;  but  the  difficulty  was,  that  as  we  moved 
the  shoal,  the  tide  was  forcing  us  towards  it,  and  preventing 
our  getting  clear  of  it.  At  night  we  fixed  the  ship  securely  by 
three  anchors,  and  left  it  to  make  its  own  way,  which  it  did  so 
effectually,  that  at  4  A.M.  we  slipped  into  deep  water.  We 
did  not  get  off  till  10  A.M.,  and  the  first  thing  we  had  to  do 
was  to  turn  in  a  channel  which  was  exactly  the  length  of  the 
ship,  and  not  a  foot  more.  This  very  clever  feat  we  performed 
with  the  help  of  an  anchor  dropped  from  the  stern,  and  are 
now  in  the  main  river.  .  .  .  Two  P.M. — We  have  anchored 
below  Kew-kiang,  at  the  spot  where  we  anchored  on  Novem- 
ber 30th.  The  '  Dove  '  met  us  an  hour  ago  with  the  ominous 
signal,  '  Afraid  there  is  no  passage.'  Six  P.M. — Captain  Osborn 
has  returned  from  an  exploration,  which  will  be  continued 
to-morrow.  It  would  be  very  sad  if  the  ( Furious  '  had  to  be 
left  behind.  Meanwhile  I  landed  and  took  a  walk.  It  is  a 
pretty  country,  on  the  right  bank,  consisting  of  wooded  hillocks 
with  patches  of  cultivated  valley,  and  sometimes  lakes  of  consi- 
derable size.  Cosy  little  hamlets  nestle  in  most  of  the  valleys  ; 
the  houses  built  of  sun-dried  bricks,  and  much  more  substantial 
than  those  we  saw  yesterday,  &c.,  where  the  walls  generally 
were  made  of  matting,  probably  because  of  the  inundations. 

December  23rd. — Noon. — At  about  six  Captain  Osborn  re- 
turned from  an  exploration  of  the  north  channel,  which  he  found 
rocky,  and  twelve  feet  of  water  the  utmost  that  could  be  found. 
Captain  Bythesea  was  disposed  to  try  and  lighten  the  '  Cruiser  ; ' 
but  I  determined  that  I  would  run  no  risk  of  the  kind  As 
yet  no  harm  has  happened  to  any  of  our  ships,  and  the  delay 
at  this  point  of  some  of  the  squadron  for  three  months,  is  more 
an  inconvenience  to  me  than  a  disadvantage  in  any  other  way. 
On  public  grounds  it  will  even  be  attended  with  benefit,  as  it 
will  insure  the  Yangtze  being  kept  open ;  for  supplies  will  be 
sent  up  to  them  from  Shanghae,  and  they  will  have  an  oppor- 
tunity of  examining  the  Poyang  Lake  besides.  If  any  of  the 
vessels  were  lost  or  seriously  injured,  it  would  be  a  very  dif- 
ferent matter.  I  have  therefore  resolved  that  we  shall  all  pack 

300  FIRST   MISSION   TO   CHINA.  On.  XL 

Taking  jnto  the  <  Lee  '  (the  '  Dove '  being  crammed  already),  and 
gunboats,  with  the  aid  of  two  junks  for  servants  and  baggage,  make  our 
way  to  the  e  Eetribution.'  We  shall  have  to  pass  Nganching, 
but  it  is  to  be  hoped  that  the  Kebels  will  not  repeat  the  experi- 
ment they  made  when  we  were  on  our  way  up.  Au  reste,  Dieu 

December  24th. — Noon. —  On  board  the  (  LeeS — We  have  just 
passed  the  shallow  behind  which  we  were  anchored  for  three 
days ;  but  we  have  passed  it  only  by  leaving  our  big  ships 
behind  us.  At  10  A.M.  I  had  all  the  ship's  company  of  the 
( Furious '  on  deck,  and  made  a  short  farewell  speech  to  them, 
which  was  well  received  by  a  sympathetic  audience.  The 
whole  Mission  is  on  board  this  gunboat,  pretty  closely  packed 
as  you  may  suppose :  the  servants  in  a  Chinese  boat  astern, 
and  the  effects  in  another,  astern  of  the  ( Dove.'  The  ( Dove ' 
leads,  and  we  follow.  It  is  raining  and  blowing  unpleasantly. 
I  am  very  sorry  to  have  left  the  '  Furious.'  ...  If  the  Rebels 
let  us  pass  them  unattacked,  it  will  be  well ;  if  they  do  not, 
we  shall  be  obliged  in  self-defence  to  force  a  passage  through 
their  lines,  in  order  to  carry  supplies  to  our  ships.  Either  way, 
the  object  of  opening  the  Yangtze  will  be  attained.  Yesterday 
the  Prefect  of  Kew-kiang  came  on  board  the  '  Furious.'  He 
was  very  civil,  and  undertook  to  supply  Captain  Osborn  with 
all  he  wanted.  ...  In  the  little  cabin  where  I  am  now  writing, 
five  of  us  are  to  sleep  ! 

Christmas  Day. — Many  happy  returns  of  it  to  you  and  the 
children  !  ...  It  is  the  second  since  we  parted.  .  .  .  We  are 
now  (3  P.M.)  approaching  Nganching.  I  have  resolved  to 
communicate  with  the  authorities  to  express  my  indignation  at 
what  happened  when  we  passed  up  the  river,  and  tell  them  that 
if  it  is  repeated  I  shall  be  obliged  reluctantly  to  take  the  town. 
This  may  seem  rather  audacious  language,  considering  that  rny 
whole  force  now  consists  of  two  gunboats.  However,  I  think 
it  is  the  proper  tone  to  take  with  the  Chinese. 

Ngan-  December  26th. —  One  P.M. — It  grew  so  dark  before  we  an- 

chored near  Nganching  last  night,  that  we  abandoned  the 
idea  of  communicating  till  this  morning,  and  found,  when  day 
broke,  that  we  were  nearer  the  town  than  we  had  anticipated. 
It  was  raining  heavily,  with  a  slight  admixture  of  sleet,  and 
some  of  the  heights  in  rear  of  the  town  were  covered  with  snow. 
We  heaved  anchor  at  about  seven,  and  dropped  it  again  at 



ibout  half  a  mile  from  the  wall  of  the  city.  Wade  went  off 
a  boat.  He  steered  to  a  point  where  there  was  an  officer 
raving  a  flag  somewhat  ominously,  and  a  crowd  behind  him, 
generally  armed  with  red  umbrellas.  When  he  got  to  the 
lore,  he  was  informed  that  the  officer  was  third  in  command, 
id  a  Canton  man,  as  the  other  chiefs  also  appeared  to  be. 
He  told  them  that  it  was  our  intention  to  pass  up  and  down 
the  river;  that  I  had  come  with  a  good  heart  (i.e.  without  hos- 
tile intentions) ;  that  nevertheless  we  had  been  scandalously 
fired  at,  &c.  &c.  They  at  once,  in  the  manner  of  Chinamen, 
confessed  their  error,  arid  said  that  the  firing  had  been  a  mis- 
take ;  that  it  was  the  act  of  some  of  the  local  men,  who  did  not 
know  the  ships  of  6  your  great  nation ; '  that  it  should  not 
happen  again,  &c.  Wade  told  them  that  the  same  thing  had 
occurred  at  Nankin,  and  that  we  had  destroyed  the  peccant 
forts.  They  answered  that  they  were  aware  of  what  had  then 
happened.  He  added,  that  we  did  not  wish  to  interfere  in 
their  internal  disputes,  but  that  they  must  know,  if  we  were 
driven  to  it,  we  should  find  it  an  easy  matter  to  sweep  them 
out  of  the  city.  They  admitted  the  truth  of  all  he  said,  offered 
presents,  begged  him  to  go  into  the  city  and  see  their  chief 
(both  which  proposals  he  declined);  in  short,  they  were  con- 
trite and  humble.  On  his  return  to  the  '  Lee,'  she  and  her 
consort  lifted  their  anchors,  and  we  steamed  quietly  past  the 
city,  under  the  very  walls,  and  within  easy  gingall  shot,  for  so 
we  were  compelled  to  do  by  the  narrowness  of  the  channel. 

December  29th. — 11  A.M. — We  are  now  approaching  Nan-  Nankin. 
kin.  I  have  sent  Oliphant,  Wade,  Lay,  and  a  Mr.  W.  (a  mis- 
sionary) ahead  in  the  (  Dove,'  to  land,  if  possible,  at  the  first 
fort,  with  the  view  of  going  into  the  town  and  calling  on  the 
authorities.  The  '  Dove '  will  then  proceed  past  the  other 
forts  to  an  anchorage  on  the  farther  side  of  the  city,  to  which 
point  the  c  Lee '  and  (  Retribution '  will  follow  her.  My  emis- 
saries will  inform  the  Nankin  authorities  that  I  am  pleased  that 
they  should  have  apologised  for  their  scandalous  conduct 
towards  us  on  our  way  up ;  that  we  have  no  intention  of 
meddling  with  them  if  they  leave  us  alone ;  but  that  we  intend 
to  move  ships  up  and  down  the  river,  and  that  they  must  not 
be  molested.  They  have  sent  me  a  letter  written  on  a  roll  of 
yellow  silk,  about  three  fathoms  long.  It  seems  to  be  a  sort  of 
rhapsody,  in  verse,  with  a  vast  infusion  of  their  extraordinary 



On.  XL 

theology.     It  is  now  snowing  heavily,  so  we  cannot  see  far 
ahead.     It  would,  I  think,  be  awkward  for  me  to  have   any 
intercourse  with  the  Kebel  chiefs,  so  I  do  not,  as  at  present  j 
advised,  intend  to  land. 

December  30th. — About  7  P.M.,  the  f  Dove  '  rejoined  us  with  , 
the  emissaries.     It  appears  that  they  had  a  long  way  to  go  on 
horseback, — some  seven  or  eight  miles — before  they  reached 
the  Yamun  of  the  chief,  who  received  them.     They  do  not 
seem  to  have  learnt  much  from  him.     He  professed  to  be  third 
in  the  hierarchy  of  the  Rebel  Government  of  Nankin,  but  was 
a  rather  commonplace  person.     He  said  that  our   bombard- 
ment had  killed  three  officers  and  twenty  men,  and  that  they 
had  beheaded  the  soldiers  who  fired  at  us!      Arrangements 
were  made  for  the  free  passage  of  vessels  communicating  with 
the  s  Furious.'     They  describe  their  ride  through  Nankin  as  if 
it  had  been  one  through  a  great  park, — trees,  and  the  streets 
wider  than  usual  in  China ;  but  no  trade  is  allowed,  and  the 
place  seems  almost  deserted.     There  was  not  quite  so  much 
appearance  of  destruction,  but  more  of  desolation,  than  in  any 
town  previously  visited  by  us.     The  officer  who  guided  them 
to  the  Yamun  asked  Wade  to  take  him  away  with  us,  and  on 
being  told  that  was  impossible,  applied  for  opium,  saying  that 
he  smoked  himself,  and  that  about  one  in  three  of  the  force  in 
Nankin  did   the  same.     Whether  the  original  Taiping  chief, 
'  Hung-Seu-Cheun,'  is  still   alive  or  not,  we   have  not  been 
able  to  discover.     Some  say  he  remains  shut  up  with  about 
Wildfowl.     300  wives.     At  any  rate  he  is  invisible.  .  .  .  The  only  thing 
remarkable  which  I  have  observed  to-day  is  the  quantity  of 
wildfowl.      I   saw  one   flock  this  morning  which  was   several 
miles  long.     It   literally  darkened  the   sky.     I   suppose   the 
cold  weather  is  driving  them  inwards  from  the  sea. 

December  3lst. — Five  P.M. — I  hardly  expected  to  have  to 
record  another  grounding,  but  so  it  is.  We  have  been  going 
on  gallantly  all  day,  leaving  the  other  ships  some  ten  miles 
behind  us.  We  had  passed  the  Lunshan  Hills,  off  which  we 
spent  two  days,  and  from  which  I  sent  you  my  last  letter. 
We  were  abreast  of  Plover  Point,  when  suddenly  the  water 
shoaled  so  much  that  we  had  to  drop  anchor.  Alas !  the 
ebbing  tide  was  too  strong  for  us,  and  drove  us  on  a  bank, 
where  we  are  now  sticking.  If  we  get  off  before  morning  it 
will  not  matter  much ;  but  if  the  '  Retribution  '  comes  down 
and  finds  us  here,  we  shall  look  horribly  small. 

once  more. 


January  1st,  1859. — Many,  many  returns  of  the  New  Year  !  Reach 
[t  is  a  beautiful  day,  and  we  are  just  anchoring  at  Shanghae,  shanshae- 
it   3   P.M.     As   soon    as   the   tide   rose  (about   midnight)  it 
lifted  us  off  our  shoal.     We  had  to  go  cautiously  sometimes 
to-day ;    but  we  have  closed  this  eventful  expedition  success- 

The  general  results  and  chief  incidents  of  the  interest- 
ing expedition  thus  happily  completed,  were  reported  to 
the  Government  in  England  in  a  despatch,  dated  January 
5th,  1859,  from  which  are  taken  the  following  extracts : — 

The  knowledge  of  the  Chinese  language  possessed  by  Messrs.  Difficulty 
Wade  and  Lay  enabled  me  to  enter,  without  difficulty,  into  at  facts?8 
communication  with  the  inhabitants  of  the  towns  and  rural 
districts  which  we  visited.  At  various  points  in  our  progress 
we  wandered,  unarmed  and  unattended,  in  parties  of  three  or 
four,  to  a  distance  of  several  miles  from  the  banks  of  the  river, 
and  we  never  experienced  at  the  hands  of  the  natives  anything 
but  courtesy,  mingled  with  a  certain  amount  of  not  very  ob- 
trusive curiosity.  Notwithstanding,  however,  these  favourable 
opportunities,  the  budget  of  statistical  facts  which  I  was  able 
to  collect  was  hardly  as  considerable  as  I  could  have  desired. 
Chinamen  of  the  humbler  class  are  not  much  addicted  to  re- 
flection, and  when  subjected  to  cross-examination  by  persons 
greedy  of  information,  they  are  apt  to  consider  the  proceeding 
a  strange  one,  and  to  suspect  that  it  must  be  prompted  by 
some  exceedingly  bad  motive.  Moreover,  having  been  civilised 
for  many  generations,  they  carry  politeness  so  far,  that  in 
answering  a  question  it  is  always  their  chief  endeavour  to  say 
what  they  suppose  their  questioner  will  be  best  pleased  to 
hear.  If,  therefore,  the  knowledge  of  a  fact  is  to  be  arrived 
at,  it  is,  above  all  things,  necessary  that  the  inquiry  bear  a  tint 
so  neutral  that  the  person  to  whom  it  is  addressed  shall  find  it 
impossible  to  reflect  its  colour  in  his  reply.  He  will  then 
sometimes,  in  his  confusion,  blunder  into  a  truthful  answer, 
but  he  does  so  generally  with  a  bashful  air,  indicative  of  the 
painful  consciousness  that  he  has  been  reluctantly  violating 
the  rules  of  good  breeding.  A  search  after  accurate  statistics, 
under  such  conditions,  is  not  unattended  with  difficulty. 

I  am  confirmed,  by  what  I  have  witnessed  on  this  expedi- 
tion, in  the  doubts  which  I  have  long  entertained  as  to  the 



On.  XI. 

reports  of 




accuracy  of  the  popular  estimates  of  the  amount  of  the  town 
population  of  China.  The  cities  which  I  have  visited  are, 
no  doubt,  suffering  at  present  from  the  effects  of  the  rebel- 
lion; but  I  cannot  bring  myself  to  believe  that,  at  the  best  of 
times,  they  can  have  contained  the  number  of  inhabitants 
usually  imputed  to  them.  M.  Hue  puts  the  population  of  the 
three  cities  of  Woo-chang-foo,  Han-yang-foo,  and  Hankow,  at 
8,000,000.  I  doubt  much  whether  it  now  amounts,  in  the 
aggregate,  to  1,000,000 ;  and  even  when  they  were  nourishing, 
I  cannot  conceive  where  3,000,000  of  human  beings  could  have 
been  stowed  away  in  them. 

What  I  have  seen  leads  me  to  think  that  the  rural  popula- 
tion of  China  is,  generally  speaking,  well-doing  and  contented. 
I  worked  very  hard,  though  with  only  indifferent  success,  to 
obtain  from  them  accurate  information  respecting  the  extent 
of  their  holdings,  the  nature  of  their  tenure,  the  taxation  which 
they  have  to  pay,  and  other  kindred  matters.  I  arrived  at  the 
conclusion  that,  for  the  most  part,  they  hold  their  lands,  which 
are  of  very  limited  extent,  in  full  property  from  the  Crown, 
subject  to  certain  annual  charges  of  no  very  exorbitant 
amount ;  and  that  these  advantages,  improved  by  assiduous 
industry,  supply  abundantly  their  simple  wants,  whether  in 
respect  of  food  or  clothing.  In  the  streets  of  cities  in  China 
some  deplorable  objects  are  to  be  met  with,  as  must  always 
be  the  case  where  mendicity  is  a  legalised  institution ;  but  I 
am  inclined  to  think  that  the  rigour  with  which  the  duties 
of  relationship  are  enforced,  operates  as  a  powerful  check  on 
pauperism.  A  few  days  ago  a  lady  here  informed  me  that 
her  nurse  had  bought  a  little  girl  from  a  mother  who  had 
a  surplus  of  this  description  of  commodity  on  hand.  I  asked 
why  she  had  done  so,  and  was  told  that  the  little  girl's  hus- 
band, when  she  married,  would  be  bound  to  support  the 
adopting  mother.  By  the  judicious  investment  of  a  dollar  in 
this  timely  purchase,  the  worthy  woman  thus  secured  for 
herself  a  provision  for  old  age,  and  a  security,  which  she  pro- 
bably appreciates  yet  more  highly,  for.  decent  burial  when 
she  dies. 

My  general  impression  is,  that  British  manufacturers  will 
have  to  exert  themselves  to  the  utmost  if  they  intend  to  sup- 
plant, to  any  considerable  extent,  in  the  native  market,  the 
fabrics  produced  in  their  leisure  hours,  and  at  intervals  of  rest 


>m  agricultural  labour,  by  this  industrious,  frugal,  and  sober 
>pulation.     It  is  a  pleasing  but  pernicious  fallacy  to  imagine, 
lat  the  influence  of  an  intriguing  mandarin  is  to  be  presumed 
whenever  a  buyer  shows  a  preference  for  native  over  foreign 

In  returning  to  Shanghae,  Lord  Elgin  had  hoped  to 
find  the  objects  of  his  mission  so  far  secured,  that  there 
would  be  nothing  to  prevent  his  sailing  for  England  at 
once :  but  nearly  two  more  months  elapsed  before  he 
was  able  to  turn  his  back  on  the  Celestial  Empire. 

Shanghae. — January  \7th. — The  'Furious'  and  'Cruiser'  ar- 
rived here  safely  on  the  10th.  ...  I  have  just  accomplished 
the  Herculean  task  of  looking  over  a  two-months'  supply  of 
newspapers,  and  this  occupation,  interlarded  with  a  certain 
number  of  letters  and  visits  to  and  from  the  Imperial  Com- 
missioners, and,  to-day,  an  address  from  the  British  community 
of  Shanghae,  has  pretty  fully  occupied  my  time.1  The  home 
mail  is  due  to-day,  and  I  am  anxiously  waiting  to  learn  from 
it  what  the  Government  intends  to  do  about  relieving  me.  .  .  . 
I  trust  that  your  many  disappointments  as  to  my  return  may 
have  been  somewhat  relieved  by  the  conviction  that  I  am  fol- 
lowing the  right  course.  This  opening  up  of  the  East  is  not 
a  light  matter.  .  .  .  The  comet  was  most  magnificent  here. 
Did  I  ever  mention  it  in  my  letters  ?  During  the  whole 
period  of  its  visit  in  this  quarter  it  had  night  after  night  a 
clear  blue  cloudless  sky,  spangled  with  stars  innumerable,  to 
disport  itself  in.  ...  Canton  is  coming  round  to  tranquillity 
as  fast  as  we  ever  had  any  right  to  expect ;  but  the  absurd 
thing  is  that  these  funny  people  at  Hong-kong  are  beginning 
to  praise  me ! 

1  His  reply  to  the  Merchants'  ad-  '  barriers  behind  which  these  ancient 

dress  contained  the  following  passage:  '  nations  sought  to  conceal  from  the 

'  Allow  me  to  express  the  satisfaction  '  world  without  the  mysteries,  perhaps 

'which  it  gives  me  to  find  that  you  'also,  in  the  case  of  "China  at  lea>t, 

'  specify  the  benefits  that  are  likely  to  '  the  rags  and  rottenness  of  their  wan- 

'  accrue  to  the  inhabitants  of  these  '  ing  civilisations.     Neither  our  own 

' countries  themselves,  as  among  the  'consciences   nor  the  judgment   of 

*  most  important  of  the  results  to  be  '  mankind  will  acquit  us  if,  when  we 

'expected   from   our  recent  treaties  'are  asked   to   what  use   we   have 

'with    China  and  Japan.     On   this  'turned  our   opportunities,   we  can 

'head  we  have  no  doubt  incurred  very  'only  say  that  we   have  filled  our 

'  weighty  responsibilities.  Uninvited,  *'  pockets  from  among  the  ruins  which 

'and  by^rnethods  not  always  of  the  '  we  have  found  or  made.' 
1  gentlest,  we  have  broken  down  the 

306  FIRST   MISSION   TO   CHINA.  Cii.  XI. 

Troubles  January  20th. — I  had  hardly  written  the  words  '  Canton  is 
at  Canton.  comjng  roim(j  to  tranquillity,'  when  I  heard  that  there  had 
been  fighting  there  again.  It  is  a  good  thing  in  my  opinion, 
as  it  will  enable  us  to  demonstrate  our  superiority  to  the 
Braves,  if  the  General  and  Admiral  improve  the  opportunity 
properly ;  not  by  a  great  deal  of  slaughter,  that  is  quite  un- 
necessary, but  by  promptitude,  and  striking  a  blow  at  the 
right  moment.  The  Chinese  do  not  care  much  about  being 
killed,  but  they  hate  being  frightened,  and  the  knowledge 
of  this  idiosyncrasy  of  theirs  is  the  key  of  the  position.  I 
have  just  written  a  letter  to  my  friends  the  Imperial  Com- 
missioners here,  which  will,  I  think,  shake  their  nerves  con- 
siderably, and  bring  them  to  a  manageable  frame  of  mind. 

In  fact,  when  he  found  that  Governor- General  Hwang 
had  not  been  recalled,  nor  the  Committee  of  Gentry 
suppressed,  and  that  the  Canton  Braves  were  still  making 
war  upon  our  troops,  he  felt  that  the  Chinese  were  try- 
ing to  evade  the  performance  of  their  promises,  and 
that  there  was  nothing  for  it  but  to  c  appeal  again  to 
4  that  ignoble  passion  of  fear  which  was  unhappily  the 
4  oueprimum  mobile  of  human  action  in  China.' *  Accord- 
ingly he  wrote  to  the  Imperial  Commissioners  that,  as 
the  Emperor  did  not  carry  out  what  they  undertook,  he 
would  have  nothing  more  to  say  to  them  on  the  sub- 
ject; that  the  English  soldiers  and  sailors  would  take 
the  Braves  into  their  own  hands ;  and  that  he  or  his 
successor  would  in  a  month  or  two  have  an  opportunity 
of  ascertaining  at  Pekin  itself  whether  or  not  the  Em- 
peror was  abetting  the  persons  who  were  creating  dis- 
turbances in  the  South. 

The  journal  continues,  under  date  of  January  20  :— 

Yesterday  I  took  a  walk  through  the  town  of  Shanghae 
with  a  missionary  who  is  a  very  good  cicerone.  We  went  into 
a  good  many  ateliers  of  silversmiths,  ribbon-makers,  tobacco- 
manufacturers,  carvers  in  wood,  and  the  like.  The  Chinese 
are  skilful  manipulators,  but  they  are  singularly  uninventive. 

1  Despatch  of  Jan.  22,  1859. 


>thing  can  be  more  rude  than  their  labour-saving  processes, 
visited  also  a  foundling  establishment.  There  was  a 
[rawer  at  the  entrance  in  which  the  infants  are  deposited,  as 
I  believe,  the  case  at  Paris.  The  children  seem  tolerably 
*ed  for,  but  there  were  not  many  in  the  house.  The  greater 
>rtion  are  given  out  to  nurse.  We  went  also  into  a  large 
inn  or  lodging-house,  frequented  by  a  respectable  class  of 
visitors — silk  merchants,  &c.  The  rooms  seemed  comfortable, 
quite  as  good  as  the  accommodation  provided  for  commercial 
travellers  at  an  English  inn.  A  good  many  books  seemed  to 
form  part  of  the  luggage  of  the  occupant  of  each  room  that  we 
entered.  It  is  curious  that  I  should  have  been  engaged  in  so 
many  enterprises  of  rather  an  out-of-the-way  character  since 
I  have  been  out  here.  I  confess  that  in  my  own  opinion  the 
voyage  up  the  Yangtze  is  not  the  least  important  one. 

January  22nd. — Mail  arrived.  Frederick's  appointment1  is 
very  satisfactory,  and  I  am  sure  it  is  the  best  the  Government 
could  have  made  for  the  public  interest.  It  is  a  great  comfort 
to  me  to  know  that  he  will  wind  up  what  I  cannot  finish. 

Shanghae. — January  25th. — After  full  consideration  I  have 
resolved  to  go  at  once  to  Hong-kong,  and  take  the  Canton 
difficulty  in  hand.  A  variety  of  circumstances  lead  me  to  the 
conclusion  that  the  Court  of  Pekin  is  about  to  play  us  false. 
Ho,  the  Governor-General  of  the  Two  Kiang ;  the  Tautai  of 
this  port ;  and  the  Treasurer  of  the  district,  all  well-disposed 
to  foreigners,  have  been  gradually  removed  from  the  councils 
of  the  Commissioners.  Some  papers  which  we  have  seized  also 
indicate  that  the  Emperor  is  by  no  means  reconciled  to  some 
of  the  most  important  concessions  obtained  in  the  Treaties. 
This  row  at  Canton  is  therefore  very  opportune.  I  have  taken 
a  high  tone,  informed  the  Commissioners  that  I  am  off  to  the 
South  to  punish  disturbers  of  the  peace  there,  and  that  when  I 
have  taught  them  to  respect  treaties,  I  (or  my  successor)  will 
return  to  settle  matters  still  pending  here,  pacifically  or  other- 
wise as  the  Emperor  may  prefer.  It  is  to  be  hoped  that  this 
language  will  bring  them  to  their  senses,  or  rather  bring  the 
Court  to  its  senses,  for  I  do  not  suppose  that  the  Commis- 
sioners are  so  much  to  blame.  I  had  already  asked  all  the 
society  here  to  a  party  this  evening,  so  it  will  be  a  farewell 
entertainment,  and  I  shall  embark  as  soon  as  it  is  over. 

1  As  Minister  at  the  Court  of  Pekin. 
x  2 

308  FIRST   MISSION   TO   CHINA.  C:i.  XI. 

Pirate-  At    Sea,   near  Hong-hong. —  Tuesday,  February  \st. — Two 

hunting.  War-steamers  and  a  gunboat  have  just  passed  us  on  some  ex- 
pedition after  pirates.  It  may  be  all  right,  but  I  fear  we  do 
some  horrible  injustices  in  this  pirate-hunting.  The  system  of 
giving  our  sailors  a  direct  interest  in  captures  is  certainly  a 
barbarous  one,  and  the  parent  of  much  evil ;  though  perhaps  it 
may  be  difficult  to  devise  a  remedy.  The  result,  however,  is, 
that  not  only  are  seizures  often  made  which  ought  not  to  be 
made  at  all,  but  also  duties  are  neglected  which  do  not  bring 
grist  to  the  mill.  B.  once  said  to  me,  in  talking  of  the  diffi- 
culty of  exercising  a  police  over  even  English  vessels  which 
carry  coolies  to  foreign  ports : — (  Men-of-war  have  orders  to 
6  seize  vessels  breaking  the  law ;  but  as  they  are  not  prizes, 
*  and  the  captain  if  he  seizes  them  wrongfully  is  liable  to  an 
'  action  for  damages,  how  can  you  expect  them  to  act  ? ' 
March  February  llth. — I  ought  to  tell  you  that  on  the  8th,  a  body 

into  the       of  troops  about  1,000  strong  started  on  an  expedition  into  the 

interior.  .    J  .  ,    i        ,1  j  •    i 

interior,  which  was  to  take  three  days.  1  accompanied  or 
rather  preceded  them  on  the  first  day's  march,  about  twelve 
miles  from  Canton.  We  rode  through  a  very  pretty  country, 
passing  by  the  village  of  Sheksing,  where  there  was  a  fight  a 
fortnight  ago.  The  people  were  very  respectful,  and  apparently 
not  alarmed  by  our  visit.  At  the  place  where  the  troops  were 
to  encamp  for  the  night,  a  cattle  fair  was  in  progress,  and  our 
arrival  did  not  seem  to  interrupt  the  proceedings. 

February  13th. — The  military  expedition  into  the  country 
was  entirely  successful.  The  troops  were  received  everywhere 
as  friends.  Considering  what  has  been  of  yore  the  state  of 
feeling  in  this  province  towards  us,  I  think  this  almost  the 
most  remarkable  thing  which  has  happened  since  I  came  here. 
"Would  it  have  happened  if  I  had  given  way  to  those  who 
wished  me  to  carry  fire  and  •  sword  through  all  the  country 
villages  ?  Or  if  I  had  gone  home,  and  left  the  winding-up  of 
these  affairs  in  the  hands  of  others  ?  ...  I  say  all  this  because 
I  am  anxious  that  you  should  appreciate  the  motives  which 
have  made  me  prolong  my  stay  in  this  quarter. 

On  the  15th  he  started,  intending  to  join  General 
Straubenzee  in  an  expedition  up  the  West  River  ;  but 
finding  that  his  presence  would  be  of  no  use,  arid  might 
be  an  embarrassment,  he  resolved  instead  to  spend  the 

1859.  MISSION   COMPLETED.  309 

time  in  visiting  the  port  of  Hainan,  the  southernmost 
>ort  opened  by  the  new  Treaty.  Unfortunately,  when 
arrived  off*  Hainan,  a  wind  blowing  on  shore,  and 
very  imperfect  charts,  prevented  his  entering  the  port ; 
but  on  his  way  he  had  an  opportunity  of  revisiting  one 
of  the  few  places  on  the  coast  possessing  any  historical 
interest,  namely  Macao,  the  residence  of  Camoeiis ;  and 
also  of  touching  at  St.  John,  the  scene  of  the  labours  and 
death  of  Francis  Xavier. 

February  17 th. — We   reached    Macao  yesterday  morning.  Macao. 
I  visited  the  garden  of  Camoens,  and  wandered  among  the 
narrow  up-and-down  streets,  which  with  the  churches  and  con- 
vents, and  air  of  quiet  vetuste,  remind  one  of  a  town  on  the 
continent  of  Europe. 

February  20th. — Sunday. — We  have  just  anchored  in  a  St.  John, 
quiet  harbour,  on  the  island  of  St.  John,  or  Sancian,  as  Hue 
calls  it ;  the  first  place  in  China  where  the  Portuguese  settled. 
Here,  too,  St.  Francis  Xavier  died.  I  should  land  and  look 
at  his  tomb  if  I  thought  it  was  in  this  part  of  the  island,  but 
it  is  late  (5  P.M.),  and  a  long  way  to  pull. 

On  returning  to  Hong-kong  he  found  that  his  letter 
to  the  Chinese  Government  had  had  the  effect  which  he 
desired  and  anticipated. 

Hong-kong. — February  23rd. — I  have  good  news  from  the  Mission 
North.  As  I  was  walking  on  the  deck  this  morning  at  8  comPleted- 
A.M.,  Mr.  Lay  suddenly  made  his  appearance.  He  had  come 
by  the  mail-packet  from  Shanghae,  with  a  letter  from  the 
Imperial  Commissioners,  announcing  that  the  seal  of  Imperial 
Commission  had  been  taken  from  Hwang,  the  Governor- 
General  of  this  province,  and  given  to  Ho,  the  Governor-Gene- 
ral of  the  provinces  in  which  Shangbae  is  situated.  Lay 
further  states  tbat  his  friend  the  Tautai  informed  him  that 
they  are  prepared  to  receive  the  new  Ambassador  peacefully  at 
Pekin,  when  he  goes  to  exchange  ratifications.  If  so,  I  think 
that  I  shall  be  able  to  return  with  the  conviction  that  the 
objects  of  my  mission  have  been  accomplished. 

The  details  of  his  Treaty  having  been  now  defini- 
tively arranged,  Canton  pacified,  and  its  neighbourhood 


overawed  by  the  peaceful  progress  through  it  of  a  mili- 
tary expedition,  there  remained  nothing  to  detain  him 
in  the  East.1 

Homeward  Canton  River. — March  3rd. — I  am  really  and  truly  off  on 
bound.  mv  way  to  Engian(j,  though  I  can  hardly  believe  that  it  is  so. 
The  last  mail  brought  me  not  a  word  either  from  Frederick  or 
about  his  plans;  only,  what  was  very  satisfactory,  the  ap- 
proval of  the  Government  of  my  arrangement  respecting  the 
residence  of  the  British  Minister  in  China.  I  have,  however, 
determined  to  start,  and  to  take  my  chance  of  meeting  him 
somewhere  en  route.  Unless  I  were  to  go  back  to  Shanghae, 
I  could  not  do  much  more  here  now ;  and  if  I  put  off,  I  shall 
have  the  monsoon  against  me,  and  great  heat  in  the  Red  Sea. 
Hong-kong  Having  resolved  on  this  course,  I  invited  the  Hong-kong  mer- 
actory'  chants  to  come  up  with  me  to  Canton,  to  look  at  the  several 
factory  sites.  In  their  usual  way  they  have  been  dictating  the 
choice  of  a  site  to  me,  abusing  me  for  not  fixing  upon  it ;  and 
I  found  out  that  very  few  of  them  had  even  taken  the  trouble 
of  looking  at  the  ground.  In  short  I  found  that,  in  my  short 
visits,  I  had  seen  a  great  deal  more  of  the  sites  than  they  had 
done,  who  live  constantly  on  the  spot,  and  are  personally  inte- 
rested in  the  matter.  I  started  from  Hong-kong  yesterday 
morning,  and  to-day  I  went  over  the  ground  with  them.  The 
rain  poured,  and  I  got  a  good  wetting.  ...  As  I  was  starting 
from  the  town  in  a  gunboat  to  rejoin  my  ship,  I  met  the 
military  and  naval  expedition,  which  has  been  absent  for  more 
than  two  weeks,  returning.  I  had  not  time  to  communicate 
with  the  officers,  but  they  seemed  in  good  spirits.  It  is  a 
curious  wind-up  of  this  most  eventful  mission,  that  as  I  am 
starting  from  China,  I  should  meet  an  Anglo-French  force 
returning  from  a  pacific  invasion  into  the  very  heart  of  the 
province  of  Kwan-tung  ! — the  pepiniere  of  the  Canton  Braves, 
of  whom  we  have  heard  so  much. 

March  4th. — Eleven  A.M.  —I  have  been  calculating  that  if 
Frederick  does  not  leave  England  till  the  mail  of  the  25th  of 
February,  I  may,  by  pushing  on,  catch  him  at  Galle.  This 
would  be  a  great  point.  I  must  push  on  and  take  my  chance. 

1  In  a  parting  letter  he  pointed  ported  by  an  imposing  force,    and 

out  to  the  Admiral  how  desirable  it  suggested    that   with    this   view   a 

was  that  the  ambassador  who  went  sufficient    fleet   of  gunboats   should 

to  Pekin  to  exchange  the  ratifica-  be  concentrated  at  once  at  Shanohae. 
tions  of  the  Treaty  should  be  sup- 

1859.  HOMEWARD   VOYAGE.  311 


March  8th. — We  are  passing  Pulo  Sapata,  a  bald,  solitary  pui0 
rock,  standing  in  the  midst  of  the  China  Sea,  the  resort  of  sea-  SaPata- 
fowl,  as  is  indicated  by  its  guano-like  appearance.     There  it 
stands  day  after  day,  and  year  after  year,  affronting  the  scorch- 
ing beams  of  this  tropical  sun.     All  ships  pass  by  it  between 
Singapore  and  China.     So  I  am  looking  at  it  for  the  fourth 
time — the  last  time,  we  may  hope.     We  have  made  fully  200 
miles  a  day — a  great  deal  for  this  ship. 

March  Wth. — We  are  now  very  near  the  Line,  and  the 
breeze  has  nearly  failed  us ;  so  you  may  imagine  we  are  not 
very  cool,  but  we  hope  to  reach  Singapore  to-morrow.  These 
Tropics  are  very  charming  when  they  do  not  broil  one  ;  and  I 
passed  a  pleasant  hour  last  night  on  the  top  of  the  paddle-box, 
with  a  balmy  air  floating  over  my  face  from  the  one  side,  a 
crescent  moon  playing  hide-and-seek  behind  a  cloud  on  the 
other,  and  right  above  me  a  legion  of  bright  stars,  shining 
through  the  atmosphere  as  if  they  could  pierce  one  with  their 

March  \\tli. — We  have  passed  the  Horsburgh  lighthouse, 
and  entered  the  Straits.  Wooded  banks  on  either  side,  diver- 
sified by  hillocks,  and  a  ship  or  two,  give  some  animation  to  the 
scene.  It  is  very  hot,  and  I  have  been  on  the  paddle-box 
getting  what  air  I  can,  and  watching  a  black  wall  of  cloud 
covered  with  fleecy  masses,  which  rests  on  the  bank  to  our 
right,  and  seems  half  inclined  to  sweep  over  us  with  one  of 
those  refreshing  pelts  of  which  we  had  a  succession  last  night. 
It  is  this  habit  of  showers  which  renders  the  vicinity  of  the 
Line  more  bearable  than  the  summer  heat  of  other  parts 
within  the  Tropics.  However,  the  cloud  sticks  to  the  shore, 
so  I  have  come  down  to  write  this  line  to  you. 

Singapore. — Sunday,  March  13th,  Seven  A.M. — This  place  Singapore. 
looks  wonderfully  green  and  luxuriant  after  China.  The 
variety  of  costumes  and  colours  too,  Malay,  Indian,  Chinese, 
&c.,  and  the  pretty  villas  perched  on  each  hillock  among 
flowering  trees,  give  it  a  festival  air.  Heavy  showers  of  rain 
also  keep  the  temperature  down.  . .  .  3.30  P.M. — I  went  to  church 
and  embarked  immediately  after ;  and  here  we  are,  about  ten 
miles  from  Singapore,  going  well  through  a  calm  sea,  with  a 
slight  breeze  rather  against  us.  Twenty  months  ago  I  left 
this  place  at  about  the  same  hour  with  poor  Peel  for  Calcutta. 

March  2lst. — Six    A.M. — 1    have   been   an   hour   on   deck 


watching  the  great  bright  stars  eclipse  themselves,  and  the 
sun  break  through  the  clouds  right  astern  of  us.  It  is  a  lovely 
day,  and  we  are  a  little  bent  over  by  a  breeze  from  the  shore 
of  Ceylon,  along  which  we  are  now  running.  Noon. — Just 
anchored  at  Galle,  after  a  run  of  about  270  miles  in  twenty- 
four  hours.  .  .  .  We  are  surrounded  by  curious  boats  about 
two  feet  wide,  prevented  from  capsizing  by  outriggers — beams 
of  woodi  floating  on  the  water  on  one  side  of  them,  and  attached 
to  them  by  poles  of  about  eight  feet  in  length.  I  believe  these 
boats  are  wonderfully  fast  and  safe. 

Ceylon.  Colombo. —  Sunday,  March   27th. — We   came  yesterday  to 

this  place.  A  drive  of  seventy-two  miles  through  an  almost 
uninterrupted  grove  of  cocoa-nut  trees,  interspersed  with 
bread-fruit,  jack-fruit,  and  other  foliage,  with  occasional  gleams 
of  the  Gloriosa  superba.  The  music  of  the  ocean  waves  hiss- 
ing and  thundering  on  the  shore  accompanied  us  all  our 
journey.  The  road  was  good  and  the  coach  tolerable,  so  it 
was  pleasant  enough.  To-day  the  heat  is  very  great ;  hardly 
bearable  at  church.  All  Sir  H.  Ward's  family  are  on  the  hill 
— Newra  Elyia — some  6,000  feet  above  the  sea ;  this  being  the 
hottest  season  in  Ceylon.  My  writing  is  not  very  good,  for  I 
cannot  sit  still  for  the  heat.  I  am  walking  about  the  room  in 
very  light  attire,  taking  up  my  pen  from  time  to  time  to  indite 
a  few  words. 

H.  M.  8.  'Furious.'— At  Sea,  April  9th.—  Will  this  letter 
be  delivered  to  you  by  the  post  or  by  the  writer  in  person  ? 
Chi  sa?  .  .  .  You  will  like  to  have  a  complete  record  of  my 
experiences  during  my  long  absence.  I  am  now  again  at  sea, 
and  I  cannot  say  how  this  fact  rejoices  me.  I  was  tired  of 
Ceylon ;  and  my  longing  to  get  home  increases  as  the  prospect 
of  my  doing  so  becomes  more  real.  I  was  ill,  too,  at  Ceylon. 
The  heat  was  very  great ;  and  I  was,  I  fear,  somewhat  im- 
prudent. On  the  day  after  I  despatched  my  last  letter  to  you 
from  Colombo,  I  started  for  Kandy,  a  pretty  little  country 
town  seated  in  the  centre  of  a  circle  of  hills.  I  reached  it 
at  5  P.M.,  time  enough  to  walk  about  the  very  beautiful 
grounds  of  the  'Pavilion,'  the  Governor's  residence.  Next 
day,  after  seeing  the  shrine  which  contains  the  famous  tooth  of 
Buddha,  I  set  off  for  the  mountains,  and  reached  a  coffee  estate 
of  Baron  Delmar's  at  about  6  P.M.  We  found  ourselves  in  a 
fine  cool  climate,  at  about  3,000  &et  above  the  sea.  That 

1859.  HOME.  313 

night,  however,  I  felt  a  shiver  as  I  went  to  bed.  I  had  a  bad 
headache  next  morning,  and  when  I  arrived  at  Newra  Elyia, 
the  famous  sanatarium,  6,000  feet  above  the  sea,  I  was  obliged 
to  go  to  bed,  and  send  for  the  doctor.  I  could  not  remain 
quiet,  however,  as  the  packet  from  England  might  be  at  Galle 
on  the  3rd ;  so  I  had  to  hurry  down  on  Friday  from  the  moun- 
tain to  Kandy  and  Colombo,  where  I  arrived  on  Saturday 
evening  more  dead  than  alive.  Sir  H.  Ward's  doctor  declared 
me  to  be  labouring  under  an  attack  of  jungle  fever.  ...  I 
sent  for  the  '  Furious,'  which  conveyed  me  from  Colombo  to 
Galle  on  Monday  the  4th.  Frederick  did  not  arrive  till  the 
6th;  so  all  ended  well.  It  was  an  unspeakable  comfort  to  me 
to  meet  Frederick  at  last.  We  had  a  day  to  talk  over  our 
affairs,  as  he  did  not  proceed  till  the  afternoon  of  the  7th.  .  .  . 
I  am  pleased  with  Ceylon,  notwithstanding  my  mishaps.  For 
a  tropical  climate  it  is  healthy  and  bearable  ;  but  we  happened 
to  be  there  at  the  very  hottest  season.  At  Newra  Elyia  it  is 
really  cold,  and,  at  the  height  of  the  coffee  estates,  very  tolerable 
to  vegetate  in. 

The  rapid  homeward  journey  along  a  beaten  route 
offered  little  of  interest  to  write  about,  especially  as  he 
was  likely  to  be  the  bearer  of  his  own  letter.  On 
the  19th  of  May  he  reported  to  the  Foreign  Office  his 
arrival  in  London. 








LordEigin  WHEN  Lord  Elgin  returned,  in  1854,  from  the  Govern- 
iand?g"  ment  of  Canada,  there  were  comparatively  few  persons 
in  England  who  knew  or  cared  anything  about  the  great 
work  which  he  had  done  in  the  colony.  But  his  bril- 
liant successes  in  the  East  attracted  public  interest, 
and  gave  currency  to  his  reputation ;  and  when  he  re- 
turned from  China  in  the  spring  of  1859  he  was  received 
with  every  honour.  Two  great  parliamentary  chiefs, 
Lord  Derby  and  Lord  Grey,  from  opposite  sides  of  the 
House  of  Lords,  contended  for  the  credit  of  having  first 
introduced  him  into  public  life.  Lord  Palmerston,  who 
was  at  the  time  engaged  in  forming  a  new  Administra- 
tion, again  offered  him  a  place  in  it,  and  he  accepted  the 
office  of  Postmaster-General.  The  students  of  Glasgow 
paid  him  the  compliment  of  electing  him  as  their  Lord 
Rector;  and  the  merchants  of  London  showed  their 
sense  of  what  he  had  done  for  their  commerce,  first  by 
the  enthusiastic  reception  which  they  gave  him  at  a 
dinner  at  the  Mansion  House,  and  afterwards  by  con- 
ferring upon  him  the  freedom  of  their  city. 

Lord  Elgin  was  not  one  of  those  men,  if  any  such 
there  be,  who  are  indifferent  to  the  appreciation  of  their 
fellows.  He  could,  indeed,  in  a  mock-cynical  humour, 
write  of  what  a  man  must  do  c  if  he  thinks  it  worth 

L860.  ORIGIN   OF   THE   SECOND   MISSION.  315 

I  while  to  stand  well  with  others : ' l  but  in  himself  there 
ivas  nothing  of  the  cynic,  and  to  stand  well  with  others 
tvas  to  his  genial  nature  a  source  of  genuine  and 
andisguised  gratification.  It  was  well  said  of  him 
afterwards  in  reference  to  the  honours  paid  to  him  at 
this  period,  that  while  he  did  not  require  the  stimulus 
of  praise,  or  even  sympathy,  to  keep  him  to  his  work, 
but  would  have  worked  on  for  life,  whether  appre- 
ciated or  overlooked,  still  4  he  whose  sympathies  were 
4  always  ready  and  warm  enjoyed  himself  being  under- 
4  stood  and  valued  ;  and  that  welcome  in  the  City  was  , 
4  very  cheering  to  him  after  his  long  experience  of 
4  English  indifference  about  Canada  and  what  he  had 
4  done  there.' 

He  was  not  destined,  however,  to  enjoy  for  long 
either  the  tranquil  dignities  of  his  new  position  or 
the  comfortable  sense  of  a  work  accomplished  and  com- 
pleted. Fresh^troubles  broke  out  in  the  East  ;  arid,  on 
the  26th  of  April,  1860,  within  less  than  a  year  after  his 
arrival  in  England,  he  was  again  crossing  the  Channel 
on  his  way  back  to  China. 

The   Chinese   Government,   tractable  enough  under  origin 
the  present  influence  of  a  bold  and  determined  spirit,  Mission^ 
had  returned  to  its   old  ways  when  that  pressure  was  to  China, 
removed.     It  had  been  agreed  that  the  Treaty  of  Tien- 
tsin should  be  formally  ratified  within  the  year,  that  is, 
before  the  26th  of  June,  1859 ;  and,   when  the  time 
approached,  Mr.  Bruce  was  commissioned  to  proceed  to 
Pekin  for  the  purpose  of  exchanging  the  ratifications. 
On  arriving,  however,  at  the  rnouth  of  the  Peiho,  he 
found  the   Taku  forts,  which  guard  the  mouth  of  the 
river,  fortified  against  him ;  and  when  the  men-of-war 
which  accompanied  him  went  forward  to  remove  the 
barriers  that  had  been  laid  across  the  river,  they  were 
fired  upon  from  the  forts.     As  no  such  resistance  had 
been  expected,  no  provision  had  been  made  for  over- 

1  Vide  supra,  p.  226. 


coming  it ;  and  Mr.  Bruce  had  no  choice  but  to  return 
to  Shanghae,  and  report  to  the  Government  at  home 
what  had  occurred. 

For  some  time  it  seems  to  have  been  hoped  that  the 
Emperor  of  China,  when  fully  informed  of  the  miscon- 
duct of  his  officers  in  firing  upon  British  ships  without 
notice,  would  have  been  ready  to  make  the  proper 
amende ;  but  when  this  hope  was  dispelled,  it  became 
clear  that  such  an  outrage  must  be  summarily  dealt 
with.  A  large  force,  both  naval  and  military,  was 
ordered  from  England  and  India  to  the  China  seas, 
to  co-operate  there  with  forces  sent  by  the  French,  who 
felt  themselves  scarcely  less  aggrieved  than  the  English 
by  the  repudiation  of  the  common  Treaty. 

For  the  command  of  this  expedition  there  was  one 
man  whom  all  parties  alike  regarded  as  marked  out  at 
once  by  character  and  ability,  and  by  previous  experi- 
ence. On  the  17th  of  April,  1860,  Lord  Russell,  who 
was  then  Foreign  Secretary,  wrote  officially  to  Lord 
Elgin  that  4  Her  Majesty,  resolved  to  employ  every 
4  means  calculated  to  establish  peace  with  the  Emperor 
4  of  China,  had  determined  to  call  upon  him  again  to 
'give  his  valuable  services  to  promote  this  important 
4  object,  and  had  signified  her  intention  of  appointing 
4  him  to  proceed  to  China  as  her  Ambassador  Extraor- 
4  dinary  to  deal  with  these  matters.'  His  instructions 
were  necessarily  of  the  vaguest.  After  touching  upon 
some  of  the  awkward  contingencies  that  might  arise, 
Lord  Russell  proceeded  :  4  In  these  circumstances  your 
4  Lordship  and  your  enlightened  colleague,  Baron  Gros, 
4  will  be  required  to  exercise  those  personal  qualities 
4  of  firmness  and  discretion  which  have  induced  Her 
4  Majesty  and  her  Ally  to  place  their  confidence  in  you 
4  and  the  French  Plenipotentiary/  The  only  conditions 
named  as  indispensable  were,  (1)  an  apology  for  the 
attack  on  the  Allied  forces  at  the  Peiho;  (2)  the  rati- 
fication and  execution  of  the  Treaty  of  Tientsin  ;  (3) 


payment  of  an  indemnity  to  the  Allies  for  the  ex- 
-nses  of  naval  and  military  preparations. 

To  be  called  away  from  the  happy  home  which  he 

rarely  enjoyed  and  enlightened,  and  to  be  sent  out 
igain  to  the  ends  of  the  world  on  such  a  service,  was 
no  light  sacrifice  even  to  his  patriotic  spirit ;  and  the 
feeling  of  this  was  perhaps  aggravated  by  the  half- 
hope  cherished  during  the  first  few  weeks,  that  any 
day  he  might  be  met  by  tidings  that  the  Chinese  had 
made  the  required  concessions,  and  that  the  affair  was 
settled.  The  following  extracts  from  his  Journal  reflect 
something  of  this. 

Sunday,  April  29th. —  Off  Sardinia. — So  much  for  my  chro-  Gloomy 
nicle ;  but  I  write  it  with  a  certain  feeling  of  repugnance  and 
self-reproach.  It  was  very  well  on  the  occasion  of  my  first 
voyage,  when  I  wished  to  share  with  you  whatever  charm  the 
novelty  of  the  scenes  through  which  I  was  passing  might 
supply  to  mitigate  the  pain  of  our  separation.  But  this  time 
there  is  no  such  pretext  for  the  record  of  our  daily  progress.  I 
am  going  through  scenes  which  I  have  visited  before,  on  an 
errand  of  which  the  issue  is  almost  more  than  doubtful.  When 
I  see  my  friend  Gros  I  feel  myself  doubly  guilty,  in  having 
consented  to  undertake  this  task,  and  thus  compelled  him  to 
make  the  same  sacrifice.  And  Frederick  —  what  will  he 
think  of  my  coming  out  ?  It  is  a  dark  sky  all  around.  There 
is  only  one  bright  side  to  the  picture.  It  is  very  unlikely  that 
my  absence  can  be  of  long  duration.  If  such  ideas  were  to 
prevail  in  England  as  those  which  are  embodied  in  an  article 
on  China,  which  is  to  appear  in  the  forthcoming  Blackwood,  I 
might  be  detained  long  enough  in  that  quarter ;  but  these 
are  not  the  views  of  the  public  or  the  statesmen  of  England. 
What  is  desired  is  a  speedy  settlement,  on  reasonable  terms  — 
as  good  terms  as  possible ;  but  let  the  settlement  be  speedy. 
This,  I  think,  is  the  fixed  idea  of  all.  Gros  tells  me  that  when 
he  took  leave  the  Emperor  grasped  both  his  hands,  thanked 
him  with  effusion,  and  said  that  not  one  man  in  fifty  would 
make  such  a  sacrifice  as  he  (Gros)  was  doing. 

Monday,  30th. — I  do  not  know  whether  I  shall  do  much 
more  to  this  letter  before  I  reach  Malta,  for  we  are  both  rolling 
and  pitching,  which  is  not  favourable  to  writing,  the  climate 



has  now  changed.  It  is  very  near  perfection  in  point  of  tem- 
perature. If  we  could  only  keep  it  so  all  the  way  !  We 
expect  to  reach  Malta  this  evening,  and  remain  about  four 
hours.  Where  are  you  now?  .  .  .  Have  you  returned  to 
your  desolate  home  ?  I  think  I  see  B.  looking  up  to  you  with 
his  thoughtful  eyes,  and  dear  little  L.  putting  pointed  ques- 
tions, and,  in  her  arch  way,  saying  such  kind  and  tender 
words  !  .  .  .  You  must  continue  to  write,  as  you  did  last  time, 
all  you  are  doing  and  thinking,  that  I  may  reproduce,  as  faith- 
fully as  I  can,  the  life  which  you  are  living.  I  do  the  same  by 
you,  though  it  is  with  a  more  leaden  pen  than  formerly.  .  .  . 
Poor  Gros  has  retired  to  his  cabin  in  order  to  take  a  horizontal 
position.  Many  of  my  companions  are  in  the  same  way. 

May  3rd. — Are  you  still  shivering  in  the  cold,  while  I  am 
gliding  through  the  calm  sea  under  an  awning,  and  going 
against  a  breeze  sufficiently  light  to  do  no  more  than  fan  us 
pleasantly?  If  it  would  never  go  beyond  this,  there  is  cer- 
tainly something  very  delightful  in  such  a  climate ;  the  clear 
atmosphere,  bright  stars,  light  nights,  and  soft  air ;  and  to  be 
wafted  along  through  all  this,  as  we  now  are,  at  the  rate  of 
some  twelve  miles  an  hour,  with  so  little  motion  that  we  hardly 
know  that  we  are  making  progress.  It  will  be  a  different 
story,  I  fear,  when  we  get  into  the  Red  Sea,  where  we  may 
expect  a  wind  behind  us,  and  around  us  the  hot  air  of  the 
Desert !  .  .  .  I  have  been  employing  myself  for  a  good  part  of 
Old  letters,  to-day  in  a  sad  work.  I  took  with  me  a  number  of  letters  of 
very  old  date,  and  have  been  looking  over  them,  and  tearing 
up  a  great  part  of  them,  and  throwing  them  overboard.  I 
thought  it  would  be  an  occupation  suited  to  this  heavy  tropical 
sea-life.  I  shall  be  sorry  when  it  is  over,  as  it  is  also  soothing, 
and  brings  back  many  pleasing  memories  which  had  nearly 
faded  away.  Some  few  I  keep,  because  they  are  landmarks 
of  my  past  life. 

ThePyra-  Steamer  'Simla.' — May  9th. — I  had  only  a  few  moments  to 
mids.  Write  before  we  left  Suez,  and  my  writing,  such  as  it  was,  I 
performed  under  difficulties,  as  the  bustle  of  passengers  finding 
their  cabins,  and  conveying  to  them  their  luggage,  or  such  por- 
tions of  it  as  they  could  rescue  from  its  descent  into  the  hold, 
was  going  on  all  around  me.  I  had,  therefore,  only  time  to  tell 
you  that  our  visit  to  the  Pyramids  has  been  a  success.  It  was 
one  of  the  greatest  which  I  ever  achieved  in  that  line.  It 


;ame  about  in  this  way.  When  Baron  Gros  and  I,  accom- 
inied  by  Betts  Bey,  the  chief  director  of  the  railway,  were 
mrneying  in  our  pachalic  state-carriage  from  Alexandria  to 
Jairo,  a  question  arose  as  to  how  we  were  to  spend  the  few 
>urs  which  we  should  have  to  remain  at  the  latter  place.  I 
expressed  a  desire  to  see  the  Pyramids,  as  I  had  witnessed  all 
the  other  lions  of  Cairo.  But  Betts  Bey  observed,  that  to  go 
there  during  the  day,  at  this  season  of  the  year,  was  a  service 
of  considerable  danger,  the  risk  of  sunstroke  being  more  than 
usually  great.  We  were,  in  fact,  traversing  Egypt  during 
the  period  (of  about  six  weeks'  duration)  when  the  wind  from 
the  south  blows,  and  the  only  air  one  receives  is  like  the  blast 
of  a  furnace  heavily  charged  with  sand.  He  added,  however, 
that  it  was  not  impossible  to  go  to  the  Pyramids  at  night, 
remain  there  till  dawn,  see  the  sunrise  from  the  summit,  and 
return  before  the  great  heats  of  the  day.  When  I  found 
myself  at  Cairo,  I  proposed  to  my  entourage  that  we  should 
undertake  this  expedition.  My  proposal  was  eagerly  accepted, 
especially  by  (  Our  own  Correspondent,'  Mr.  Bowlby,  who  is 
a  remarkably  agreeable  person,  and  has  become  very  much 
one  of  our  party.  It  was  arranged  that  we  should  dine 
at  the  table  d'hote  at  7  P.M.,  start  at  9,  in  carriages  to  the 
crossing  of  the  Nile  (about  four  miles),  and  on  donkeys  from 
Gieja  (about  six  miles).  The  Pasha's  state-coach  came  to  the 
door  at  the  appointed  hour ;  we  started,  our  own  party,  Mr. 
Bowlby,  Captain  F.,  and  M.  de  B.,  Gros'  secretary.  Gros 
himself,  having  twice  seen  the  Pyramids,  declined  going  with 
us.  The  moon  was  very  nearly  full,  and  but  for  the  honour 
of  the  thing  we  might  have  dispensed  with  the  torch-bearers, 
who  ran  before  the  carriage  and  preceded  the  donkeys,  after 
we  adopted  that  humbler  mode  of  locomotion.  Our  row  across 
the  river  to  the  chant  of  the  boatmen  invoking  the  aid  of  a 
sainted  dervish,  and  our  ride  through  the  fertile  borders  of  the 
Nile,  covered  with  crops  and  palm-trees,  were  very  lovely,  and, 
after  about  an  hour  and  a  half  from  Cairo,  we  emerged  upon 
the  Desert.  The  Pyramids  seemed  then  almost  within  reach 
of  our  outstretched  arms,  but  lo  !  they  were  in  fact  some  four 
miles  distant.  We  kept  moving  on  at  a  sort  of  ambling  walk ; 
and  the  first  sign  of  our  near  approach  was  the  appearance  of 
a  crowd  of  Arabs  who  poured  out  of  a  village  to  offer  us  their 
aid  in  various  ways.  We  had  been  told  before  we  started,  that 


a  party  who  had  visited  the  Pyramids  the  night  before  had 
been  a  good  deal  victimised  by  these  Arabs,  who,  alas  !  in  these 
degenerate  days,  have  no  other  mode  of  indulging  their  pre- 
datory propensities  than  by  exacting  the  greatest  possible 
amount  of  '  backshish  '  from  travellers  who  visit  the  Pyramids. 
We  pushed  on  over  the  heaps  of  sand  and  debris,  or  probably 
covered-up  tombs,  which  surround  the  base  of  the  Pyramids, 
when  we  suddenly  came  in  face  of  the  most  remarkable  object 
Tho  on  which  my  eye  ever  lighted.  Somehow  or  other  I  had  not 

Sphinx.  thought  of  the  Sphinx  till  I  saw  her  before  me.  There  she 
was  in  all  her  imposing  magnitude,  crouched  on  the  margin  of 
the  Desert,  looking  over  the  fertile  valley  of  the  Nile,  and  her 
gaze  fixed  on  the  East  as  if  in  earnest  expectation  of  the  sun- 
rising.  And  such  a  gaze !  The  mystical  light  and  deep 
shadows  cast  by  the  moon,  gave  to  it  an  intensity  which  I 
cannot  attempt  to  describe.  To  me  it  seemed  a  look,  earnest, 
searching,  but  unsatisfied.  For  a  long  time  I  remained  trans- 
fixed, endeavouring  to  read  the  meaning  conveyed  by  this 
wonderful  eye ;  but  I  was  struck  after  a  wrhile  by  what  seemed 
a  contradiction  in  the  expression  of  the  eye  and  of  the  mouth. 
There  was  a  singular  gentleness  and  hopefulness  in  the  lines  of 
the  mouth,  which  appeared  to  be  in  contrast  with  the  anxious 
eye.  Mr.  Bowlby,  who  was  a  very  sympathique  inquirer  into 
the  significancy  of  this  wonderful  monument,  agreed  with  me 
in  thinking  that  the  upper  part  of  the  face  spoke  of  the  in- 
tellect striving,  and  striving  vainly,  to  solve  the  mystery— 
(What  mystery  ?  the  mystery,  shall  we  say,  of  God's  universe 
or  of  man's  destiny  ?) — while  the  lower  indicated  a  moral  con- 
viction that  all  must  be  well,  and  that  this  truth  would  in  good 
time  be  made  manifest. 

We  could  hardly  tear  ourselves  away  from  this  fascinating 
spectacle  to  draw  nearer  to  the  Great  Pyramid,  which  stood 
beside  us,  its  outline  sharply  traced  in  the  clear  atmosphere. 
We  walked  round  and  round  it,  thinking  of  the  strange  men 
whose  ambition  to  secure  immortality  for  themselves  had  ex- 
pressed itself  in  this  giant  creation.  The  enormous  blocks  of 
granite  brought  from  one  knows  not  where,  built  up  one  knows 
not  how ;  the  form  selected  solely  for  the  purpose  of  defying 
the  assaults  of  time ;  the  contrast  between  the  conception  em- 
bodied in  these  constructions  and  the  talk  of  the  frivolous  race 
b}v  whom  we  were  surrounded,  and  who  seemed  capable  of  no 


louglit  beyond  a  desire  for  daily  '  backshish,' — all  this  seen 
id  felt  under  the  influence  of  the  dim  moonlight  was  very 
-iking  and  impressive.  We  spent  some  time  in  moving  from 
)lace  to  place  along  the  shadow  cast  by  the  Pyramid  upon  the 
id,  and  observing  the  effect  produced  by  bringing  the  moon 
)metimes  to  its  apex  and  sometimes  to  other  points  on  its  out- 
ine.  I  felt  no  disposition  to  exchange  for  sleep  the  state  of 
dreamy  half-consciousness  in  which  I  was  wandering  about ; 
but  at  length  I  lay  down  on  the  shingly  sand,  with  a  block  of 
granite  for  a  pillow,  and  passed  an  hour  or  two,  sometimes 
dozing,  sometimes  wakeful,  till  one  of  our  attendants  informed 
me  that  the  sun  would  shortly  rise,  and  that  it  was  time  to 
commence  to  ascend  the  Pyramid,  if  we  intended  to  witness 
from  its  summit  his  first  appearance.  We  had  intended  to 
spend  the  night  in  the  tombs,  but  it  was  so  hot  that  we  were 
only  too  glad  to  select  the  spot  in  which  we  could  get  the 
greatest  amount  of  air.  A  very  soft  and  gentle  breeze,  wafted 
across  the  Desert  from  an  unknown  distance,  fanned  me  as  I 
slept.  The  ascent  was,  I  confess,  a  much  more  formidable 
undertaking  than  I  had  anticipated ;  and  our  French  friend 
gave  in  after  attempting  a  few  steps.  The  last  words 
which  had  passed  between  him  and  me  before  we  retired  to 
rest,  were  interchanged  as  we  were  standing  in  front  of  the 
Sphinx,  and  were  characteristic  :  Ah  !  que  Jest  drole  !  was  the 
reassuring  exclamation  which  fell  from  his  lips  while  we  were 
there  transfixed  and  awestruck.  As  far  as  the  ascent  of  the 
Pyramid  was  concerned,  I  am  not  sure  but  that  I  was  some- 
times tempted  to  follow  his  example,  when  I  found  how  great 
was  the  effort  required  to  mount  up,  in  the  hot  air,  the  huge 
blocks  of  granite,  and  the  unpleasantness  of  feeling  every  now 
and  then  with  Avhat  facility  one  might  topple  downwards. 
This  sensation  was  most  disagreeably  felt  when,  as  generally 
happened  at  any  very  critical  place,  my  Arab  friends,  who 
were  helping  me  up,  began  to  talk  of  (  backshish,'  and  to  in- 
sinuate that  a  small  amount  given  at  once,  and  before  the 
ascent  was  completed,  would  be  particularly  acceptable.  How- 
ever, after  a  while  the  summit  was  reached.  I  am  not  sure 
that  it  repaid  the  trouble ;  at  any  rate,  I  do  not  think  I  should 
ever  wish  to  make  the  ascent  again.  We  had  a  horizon  all 
around  tinted  very  much  like  Turner's  early  pictures,  and  be- 
coming brighter  and  more  variegated  as  the  dawn  advanced^ 



until  it  melted  into  day.  Behind,  and  on  two  sides  of  us,  was 
the  barren  and  treeless  Desert,  stretching  out  as  far  as  the  eye 
could  reach.  Before  us,  the  fertile  valley  of  the  Nile ;  the  river 
meandering  through  it,  and,  in  the  distance,  Cairo,  with  its 
mosques  and  minarets,  the  highest,  the  Citadel  Mosque,  stand- 
ing out  boldly  upon  the  horizon.  It  was  a  fine  view,  and  had 
a  character  of  its  own,  but  still  it  was  not  in  kind  very  differ- 
ent from  other  views  which  I  have  seen  from  elevated  points 
in  a  flat  country.  It  does  not  stand  forth  among  my  recollec- 
tions as  a  spectacle  unique,  and  never  to  be  forgotten,  as  that 
of  the  night  before  does.  Very  soon  after  the  sun  rose  the 
heat  became  painful  on  our  elevated  seat,  and  we  hastened  to 
descend — an  operation  somewhat  difficult,  but  not  so  serious  as 
the  ascent  had  been.  We  mounted  our  donkeys,  and  after 
paying  a  farewell  visit  to  the  Sphinx,  we  returned  to  Cairo  as 
we  had  come,  all  agreeing  that  our  expedition  was  one  of  the 
most  agreeable  and  interesting  we  had  ever  made.  I  confess 
that  it  was  with  something  of  fear  and  trembling  that  I  re- 
turned to  the  Sphinx  that  morning.  I  feared  that  the  im- 
pressions which  I  had  received  the  night  before  might  be 
effaced  by  the  light  of  day.  But  it  was  not  so.  The  lines 
were  fainter,  and  less  deeply  marked,  but  I  found,  or  thought 
I  found,  the  same  meaning  in  them  still. 

May  IQt/i. — We  are  now  passing  some  islands,  nearly  opposite 
to  Mocha :  to  morrow  at  an  early  hour  we  shall  probably  reach 
Aden.  Shall  we  find  any  Chinese  news  there?  And  if  we 
do,  what  will  be  its  character?  We  have  not  yet  heard  a 
syllable  to  induce  us  to  think  that  matters  will  be  settled  with- 
Passengers  out  a  conflict,  but  then  we  have  seen  nothing  official.  We 
met,  at  the  station-house  on  the  Nile,  between  Alexandria  and 
Cairo,  the  passengers  by  the  last  Calcutta  mail-steamer.  There 
were  some  from  China  among  them,  but  I  could  gather  from 
them  nothing  of  any  interest.  It  was  a  curious  scene,  by 
the  way,  that  meeting:  260  first-class  passengers,  including 
children,  pale  and  languid-looking,  thrown  into  a  great  barn- 
like  refectory,  in  which  were  already  assembled  our  voyage 
companions  (we  ourselves  had  a  separate  room),  jovial-looking, 
and  with  roses  in  their  cheeks,  which  they  are  doubtless  hasten- 
ing to  offer  at  the  shrine  of  the  sun.  These  two  opposing 
currents,  bearing  such  legible  records  of  the  climes  from  which 
they  severally  came,  met  for  a  moment  on  the  banks  of  the 

PERIM.      ADEN. 


rile,  time  enough  to  interchange  a  few  hasty  words,  and  then 
ished  on  in  opposite  directions.  As  I  am  not  like  the 
Inglishman  in  'Eothen,'  who  passes  his  countryman  in  the 
Desert  without  accosting  him,  I  had  as  much  talk  as  I  could 
with  all  the  persons  coming  from  China  whom  I  could  find, 
though,  as  I  said,  without  obtaining  any  information  of  value. 

May  llth. —  Seven  A.M. — Before  I  retired  last  night,  I  saw,  Perim. 
through  the  starlight  (we  have  little  moon  now)  Perim.  On 
the  right  is  an  excellent  safe  channel,  eleven  miles  wide ;  so 
that  it  will  be  impossible  to  command  the  entrance  of  the  Red 
Sea  from  Perim.  There  is  a  good  anchorage  on  this  side,  so 
says  our  captain ;  but  of  course  we  could  not  see  it.  I  am 
sorry  we  passed  it  so  late,  as  I  should  have  liked  Gros  to  have 
seen  it,  in  order  that  he  might  calm  the  susceptibilities  of  his 
Government  in  respect  to  its  formidable  character.  I  enclose 
a  little  bit  of  a  plant  which  I  gathered  on  my  return  from  the 
Pyramids.  The  botanist  on  board  says  it  is  a  species  of 
camomile.  It  is  a  commonplace  plant,  with  a  little  blue 
flower,  but  I  took  a  fancy  to  it,  because  it  had  the  pluck  to 
venture  farther  into  the  Desert,  and  to  approach  nearer  the 
Pyramids  than  any  other  which  I  saw. 

On  Shore  at  Aden. — Noon. — I  am  at  the  house  of  Captain  Ad»n. 
Playfair,  who  represents  the  Resident  during  his  absence.  A 
very  pleasant  breeze  is  blowing  through  the  wall  of  reeds  or 
bamboo,  which  encloses  the  verandah  in  which  I  am  writing. 
I  am  most  agreeably  disappointed  by  the  temperature  ;  and, 
strange  to  say,  both  Captain  P.  and  his  wife  do  not  complain 
of  Aden  !  So  it  is  with  all  who  live  here.  And  yet,  when 
one  looks  at  the  place,  dry  as  a  heap  of  ashes,  glared  upon  by 
a  tropical  sun,  without  a  single  blade  of  grass  to  repose  the 
eye,  or  a  drop  of  moisture  from  above  to  cool  the  air,  save 
only  about  once  in  two  years,  when  the  sluices  of  Heaven  are 
opened,  and  the  torrents  come  down  with  a  fury  unexampled 
elsewhere,  one  feels  at  first  inclined  to  doubt  whether  it  can  be 
possible  for  human  beings  to  live  here.  I  suppose  that  it  is 
the  reaction,  produced  by  finding  that  it  is  not  quite  so  bad  as 
it  appears,  that  reconciles  people  to  their  lot,  and  makes  them 
so  contented.  We  have  got  some  scraps  of  China  news  ;  and 
what  there  is,  seems  to  be  pacific. 

At  Sea.— May  \  5th. — If  we  go  on  to  China,  if  we  take  the 
matter  in  hand,  then  I  think,  coute  que  coute,  we  must  finish 

t  2 


it,  and  finish  it  thoroughly.  I  do  not  believe  that  it  will  take  i 
us  long  to  do  so ;  but  the  indispensable  is,  that  it  should  be 
done.  This  is  my  judgment  on  the  matter,  and  I  tell  it  to 
you  as  it  presents  itself  to  my  own  mind ;  but  how  much 
wiser  is  Gros,  who  does  not  peer  into  the  dim  future,  but 
awaits  calmly  the  dispersion  of  the  mists  which  surround  it ! ; 

Books.         .  .  .  He  has  been  reading  the  book  on  Buddhism  (St.   Hi- 
laire's),  which  I  got  on  your  recommendation,  and  have  lent 
him.     I  have  myself  read  Thiers  ;  the  Idylls  over  again  ;  some 
other  poems  of  Tennyson's,  &c.  &c.     The  first  of  these  is  very : 
interesting.     The  passion  of  the  French  nation  for  the  name  of 
Napoleon  seems  more  and  more  wonderful  when  one  peruses  i 
the  record  of  the  frightful  suiferings  which  he  brought  upon 
them  ;  and  yet,  at  the  time  when  his  reign  was  drawing  to  its  ; 
close,  the  disgust  occasioned  by  his  tyranny  seemed  to  be  the ! 
ruling   sentiment  with  all  classes.      As  to  the   Idylls,    on  a 
second  perusal  I  like  '  Enid  '  better  than  on  the  first ;  'Vivien'  j 
better  ;  (  Elaine  '  less ;  and  (  Guinevere  '  still  best  of  all.     No- 
thing in  the  volume  can  approach  the  last  interview  between ! 
Arthur  and  the  Queen. 

May  I9t/i. — We  are  to  reach  Galle  to-morrow  or  next  day. ! 
...  1   think  of  you  and  the  dear  small  ones,  to  whom  I  feel 
myself  drawn  more  closely  than  ever ;  for,  in  spite  of  my  pre- 
occupations, I  became  better  acquainted  with  them  during  my 
last  eleven  months  at  home,  than  ever  before— dear  B.'s  full' 
and  thoughtful  eye  ;  L.'s  engaging  and  loving  ways.     Oh  that: 
I  could  be  at  home  and  at  peace  to  enjoy  all  this  ! 

Ceylon.  Ceylon,  May  21st. — Last  night  was  black  and  stormy,  and! 

when  I  came  on  deck  this  morning,  I  was  told  that  we  did  not 
know  exactly  where  we  were ;  that  we  had  turned  our  ship's 
head  homewards,  and  were  searching  for  Ceylon.     We  found 
it  after  a  while,  and  landed  in  a  pelt  of  rain  at  about  noon.  .  .  . 
On  landing,  I  asked  eagerly  for  China  news.     Hardly  any  to 
be  obtained ;  little  more  than  vague   surmises.     Nothing  to : 
justify  an  arrest  of  our  movements,  so  we  must  go  on.     I  doj 
not  know  how  it  is,  but  I  feel  sadder  and  more  depressed! 
than  I  have  felt  before.     I  cannot  but  contrast  my  position! 
when   in  this   house    a.  year  ago   with   my  present   position. 
Then  I  was  returning  to  you,  looking  forward  to  your  dear 
welcome,    complete    success  having  crowned   my   mission   to 
China.     I  am  now  going  from  you  on  this  difficult  and  unwel- 



)me  errand.  ...  I  feel  as  if  I  knew  every  stone  of  the  place 
lere  I  passed  so  many  weary  hours,  waiting  for  Frederick, 

dth  a  fever  on  me,  or  coming  on.     Gros  is  in  the  next  room 

irgaining  for  rubies  and  sapphires  ;  but  I  do  not  feel  disposed 
indulge  in  such  extravagances.  .  .  .   The  steamer  in  which 

re  are  to  proceed  to-morrow  looks  very  small,  with  diminutive 
portholes.  We  shall  be  a  large  party,  and,  I  fear,  very  closely 

May  22nd.  — Have  you  read  Russell's  book  on  the  Indian  Eussell  on 
Mutiny  ?  I  have  done  so,  and  I  recommend  it  to  you.  It  has  ^ltf  °dian 
made  me  very  sad  ;  but  it  only  confirms  what  I  believed  before 
respecting  the  scandalous  treatment  which  the  natives  receive 
at  our  hands  in  India.  I  am  glad  that  he  has  had  courage  to 
speak  out  as  he  does  on  this  point.  Can  I  do  anything  to  prevent 
England  from  calling  down  on  herself  God's  curse  for  brutalities 
committed  on  another  feeble  Oriental  race  ?  Or  are  all  my 
exertions  to  result  only  in  the  extension  of  the  area  over  which 
Englishmen  are  to  exhibit  how  hollow  and  superficial  are  both 
their  civilisation  and  their  Christianity  ?  .  .  .  The  tone  of  the 
two  or  three  men  connected  with  mercantile  houses  in  China 
whom  I  find  on  board  is  all  for  blood  and  massacre  on  a  great 
scale.  I  hope  they  will  be  disappointed ;  but  it  is  not  a  cheer- 
ing or  hopeful  prospect,  look  at  it  from  what  side  one  may. 

Galle,  May  23rd. — Uhomme  propose,  mais  .  .  .  . — I  ended  my  Shipwreck, 
letter  yesterday  by  telling  you  that  I  was  about  to  embark  for 
Singapore  amid  torrents  of  rain  and  growlings  of  thunder ;  but 
I  little  thought  what  was  to  follow  on  this  inauspicious  em- 
barkation. We  got  on  board  the  Peninsular  and  Oriental 
steamer  '  Malabar '  with  some  difficulty,  there  was  so  much  sea 
where  the  vessel  was  lying;  and  I  was  rather  disgusted  to 
find,  when  I  mounted  the  deck,  that  some  of  the  cargo  or 
baggage  had  not  yet  arrived,  and  that  we  were  not  ready  for  a 
start.  I  was  already  half  wet  through,  and  there  was  nothing 
for  it  but  to  sit  still  on  a  bench  under  a  dripping  awning. 
About  twenty  minutes  after  I  had  established  myself  in  this 
position,  the  wind  suddenly  shifted,  and  burst  upon  us  with 
great  fury  from  the  north-east.  The  monsoon,  now  due,  comes 
from  the  south-west,  and  therefore  a  gale  from  the  north-east 
was  unexpected,  though  I  must  say  that,  as  we  were  being 
assailed  by  constant  thunderstorms,  we  had  no  right,  in  my 
opinion,  to  consider  ourselves  secure  on  any  side  against  the. 


assaults  of  the  wind.  Be  this  however  as  it  may,  the  gale  was 
so  violent  that  I  observed  to  some  one  near  me  that  it  reminded 
me  of  a  typhoon.  I  had  hardly  made  this  remark,  when  a 
severe  shock,  accompanied  by  a  grating  sound,  conveyed  to  me 
the  disagreeable  information  that  the  stern  of  the  vessel  was 
on  the  rocks.  Whether  we  nad  two  anchors  out  or  one  ; 
whether  our  cables  were  hove  taut  or  not;  whether  we  had 
thirty  fathoms  out  or  only  fifteen,  are  points  still  in  dispute ; 
but  at  any  rate  we  had  no  steam ;  so,  after  we  once  were  on 
the  rock,  we  had  for  some  time  no  means  of  getting  off  it. 
During  this  period  the  thumping  and  grating  continued.  It 
seemed,  moreover,  once  or  twice,  to  be  probable  that  we  should 
run  foul  of  a  ship  moored  near  us.  However,  after  a  while, 
the  engines  began  to  work,  and  then  symptoms  of  a  panic 
manifested  themselves.  The  passengers  came  running  up  to 
me,  saying  that  the  captain  was  evidently  going  to  sea,  that 
there  were  merchant  captains  and  others  on  board  who  declared 
that  the  certain  destruction  of  the  ship  and  all  on  board  would 
be  the  consequence,  and  begging  me  to  interfere  to  save  the 
lives  of  all,  my  own  included.  At  first  I  declined  to  do  any- 
thing,— told  them  that  I  had  no  intention  of  taking  the  com- 
mand of  the  ship,  and  recommended  them  in  that  respect  to 
follow  my  example.  At  last,  however,  as  they  became  im- 
portunate, I  sent  Crealock1  to  the  captain,  with  my  compliments, 
to  ask  him  whether  we  were  going  to  sea.  The  answer  was 
not  encouraging,  and  went  a  small  way  towards  raising  the 
Spirits  of  my  nervous  friends  around  me.  '  Going  to  sea,'  said 
the  captain,  <  why,  we  are  going  to  the  bottom.'  The  fact  is 
that  we  were  at  the  time  when  that  reply  was  given  going 
pretty  rapidly  to  the  bottom.  The  water  was  rising  fast  in 
the  after- part  of  the  ship,  and  to  this  providential  circumstance 
I  ascribe  our  safety.  The  captain  started  with  the  hope  that 
he  would  be  able  to  pump  into  his  boilers  all  the  water  made 
by  the  leak.  If  he  had  succeeded,  the  chances  are  that  by 
this  time  the  whole  concern  would  have  been  deposited  some- 
where in  the  bed  of  the  ocean.  The  leak  was,  however,  too 
much  for  him,  and  he  had  nothing  for  it  but  to  run  over  to  the 
opposite  side  of  the  anchorage,  where  there  is  a  sandy  bay,  and 
there  to  beach  his  ship.  We  performed  this  operation  success- 
folly,  though  at  times  it  seemed  probable  that  the  water  would 
?  Colonel  Crealock,  military  secretary  to  the  Embassy. 


upon  us  so  quickly  as  to  stop  the  working  of  the  engines 
before  we  reached  our  destination.  If  this  had  happened  we 
should  have  drifted  on  some  of  the  rocks  with  which  the  har-* 
hour  abounds.  When  we  had  got  the  stern  of  the  vessel  into 
the  sand  we  discovered  that  we  had  not  accomplished  much, 
for  the  said  sand  being  very  loose,  almost  of  the  character  of 
quicksand,  and  the  sea  running  high,  the  stern  kept  sinking 
almost  as  rapidly  as  when  it  had  nothing  but  water  below  it. 
The  cabins  were  already  full  of  water,  and  the  object  was  to 
land  the  passengers.  As  usual,  there  was  the  greatest  diffi- 
culty in  launching  any  of  the  ship's  boats,  and  none  of  the 
vessels  in  the  harbour,  except  one  Frenchman  (and  one  English 
I  have  since  heard,  but  its  boat  was  swamped,  and  therefore  I 
did  not  see  it),  saw  fit  to  send  a  boat  to  our  assistance.  In 
order  to  prevent  too  great  a  rush  to  the  boats,  I  thought  it  ex- 
pedient to  announce  that  the  women  must  go  first,  and  that, 
for  my  own  part,  I  intended  to  leave  the  ship  last.1  This  I 
was  enabled  to  do  without  unnecessary  parade,  as  the  first  boat 
lowered  was  offered  to  me, — and  no  doubt  the  announcement 
had  some  effect  in  keeping  things  quiet  and  obviating  the  risk 
of  swamping  the  boats,  which  was  the  only  danger  we  had  then 
to  apprehend.  Such  were  our  adventures  of  yesterday  after- 
noon. I  had  a  presentiment  that  something  would  happen  at 
Galle,  though  I  could  hardly  have  anticipated  that  I  should 
be  wrecked,  and  wrecked  within  the  harbour !  .  .  .  .  Five  P.M. 
—I  have  just  been  on  the  beach  looking  at  our  wreck.  The 
stern,  and  up  to  the  funnel  is  now  all  under  water.  A  jury 
of (  experts '  have  sat  on  the  case,  and  their  decision  is,  that 
nothing  can  be  done  to  recover  what  is  in  the  after  part  of  the 
vessel  (passenger's  luggage  and  specie)  until  the  next  monsoon 
sets  in — some  five  or  six  months  hence  !  A  wardrobe  which 
has  spent  that  period  of  time  under  the  sea  will  be  a  curiosity  ! 

This  untoward  accident  detained  him  for  a  fort- 
night at  Galle,  occupied  in  superintending  and  press- 
ing on  the  operation  of  fishing  up  what  could  be 

1  l  The  absence  of  any  panic  was  « conversing  together,  as  if  no  danger 

'  very  creditable  to  the  passengers.  It,  <  impended/—  Personal  Narrative  of 

1  however,   was   mainly   due  to  the  Occwrence»  during  Lord  Elgm  s  be- 

'  conduct  of  the  two  Ambassadors,  cond  Embassy  to   China,  by  }L  B. 

*  who,  during  the  whole  time,  re-  Loch,  Private  Secretary. 

*  mained  quietly  seated  on  the  poop 


saved  from  the  wreck.  By  the  aid  of  divers,  his  c  Full 
Powers '  and  his  decorations  were  recovered,  together 
with  most  of  his  wearing  apparel ;  but  his  '  letter  of  cre- 
'  dence '  was  gone,  and  he  had  to  telegraph  to  the 
Foreign  Office  for  a  duplicate. 

News  In  the  meantime  the  lingering  hope  which  he  had 

^°P  cherished  of  an  immediate  return  to  England  was  dis- 
pelled by  accounts  from  China,  which  made  it  clear  that 
he  must  proceed  thither  and  go  through  with  the  ex- 

May  28th. — Seven  A.M. — This  will  be  a  sad  letter  to  you,  and 
I  write  it  with  a  heavy  heart,  though  we  have  much  to  be 
thankful  for  in  the  issue  of  this  adventure.  ...  I  trust  that 
Providence  reserves  for  us  a  time  of  real  quiet  and  enjoyment. 
I  go  to  China  with  the  determination,  God  willing !  to  bring 
matters  there  to  a  speedy  settlement.  I  think  that  this  is  as 
indispensable  for  the  public  as  for  my  own  private  interest. 
Gros  is  of  the  same  opinion.  I  still  hope,  therefore,  that  with 
the  change  of  the  monsoon  we  may  be  wending  our  way 

Mis-  June  3rd. — Nothing  has  occurred  to  mark  the  lapse  of  time 

station.  except  a  visit  we  paid  two  days  ago  to  a  place  called  Ballagam, 
some  ten  miles  from  here.  It  is  a  missionary  station,  built  by 
the  money  of  the  Church  Missionary  Society,  or  by  funds 
raised  through  the  Society.  It  is  situated  on  rising  ground, 
and  consists  of  an  excellent  bungalow  for  the  missionary,  a 
church,  and  a  school.  A  good  part  of  the  building  is  upon  an 
artificial  terrace  supported  by  masonry,  and  must  have  cost 
a  great  deal  of  money.  It  appears  that  at  one  time,  while  the 
work  was  going  on,  and  cash  was  abundant,  the  congregation 
of  so-called  Christians  numbered  some  400.  It  is  now  reduced 
to  thirty  adults  and  about  fifty  children.  The  European  mis- 
sionary has  left  the  place,  and  it  is  in  the  hands  of  a  native 
missionary.  It  gave  me  a  lively  idea  of  the  way  in  which  good 
people  in  England  are  done  out  of  their  money  for  such  schemes. 
June  4th. — This  morning  I  was  awakened  by  the  appearance 
of  Loch  in  my  room,  carrying  a  bag  with  letters  from  England. 
I  jumped  up  and  opened  yours,  ended  on  the  10th  of  May. 

"\7"  1  • 

lour  letter  is  a  great   compensation   for  our  shipwreck  and 
delay,  and  it  is  at  once  a  strange  coincidence  and  contrast 

1860,  PENANG.  329 

to  what  happened  on  the  last  occasion.  Then  your  first  letters 
to  me  were  shipwrecked,  and  delayed  a  month  in  reaching  me. 
This  time  I  have  been  shipwrecked  myself  almost  in  the  same 
place,  and  I  have  got  your  dear  letter  a  month  sooner  than  I 
had  anticipated.  How  differently  do  events  turn  out  from  our 
expectations !  ....  I  suppose  we  shall  get  off  to-morrow, 
though  the  steamer  for  China  is  not  yet  arrived.  ...  I  have 
saved  a  considerable  portion  of  my  effects,  some  a  good  deal 
damaged.  But  some  of  my  staff  have  lost  much  more,  as  they 
travel  with  a  greater  quantity  of  clothing,  &c.,  than  I  do. 

At  last,  on  the  5th  of  June,  they  were  able  to  leave 
Ceylon  ;  and  they  reached  Penang,  after  a  rough  pas- 
sage, on  the  llth. 

Steamer  ( Peking  Straits  of  Malacca. — June  12th. — You  may  Penang. 
perhaps  remember  that,  when  I  first  visited  Penang  in  1857, 
the  Chinese  established  there  mustered  in  force  to  do  me 
honour.  There  was  a  sketch  in  the  '  Illustrated  News,'  which 
portrayed  our  landing.  No  similar  demonstration  took  place 
on  this  occasion ;  whether  this  was  the  result  of  accident  or 
design,  I  cannot  tell.  ...  I  have  every  inducement  to  labour 
to  bring  my  work  to  a  close ;  to  reach  sooner  that  peaceful 
home-life  towards  which  I  am  always  aspiring.  ...  I  think 
that  I  have  a  duty  to  perform  out  here ;  but  as  to  any  advan- 
tage which  will  accrue  to  myself  from  its  performance,  I  am,  I 
confess,  very  little  hopeful.  .  .  .  It  is  terrible  to  think  how 
long  I  may  have  to  wait  for  my  next  letters.  If  we  go  on  to 
the  North  at  once,  we  shall  be  always  increasing  the  distance 
that  separates  us.  It  is  wearisome,  too,  passing  over  ground 
which  I  have  travelled  twice  before.  No  interest  of  novelty 
to  relieve  the  mind.  Penang  and  Ceylon  are  very  lovely,  but 
one  cares  little,  I  think,  for  revisiting  scenes  which  owe  all 
their  charm  to  the  beauties  of  external  nature.  It  is  different 
when  such  beauties  are  the  setting,  in  which  are  deposited  his- 
torical associations,  and  the  memories  of  great  deeds  or  events. 
I  do  not  feel  the  slightest  desire  to  see  again  any  even  of  the 
most  lovely  of  the  scenes  I  have  witnessed  in  this  part  of  the 
world.  Indeed,  so  tired  am  I  of  this  route,  that  I  sometimes 
feel  tempted  to  try  to  return  by  way  of  the  Pacific,  if  I  could 
do  so  without  much  loss  of  time.  .  .  .  This  is  only  a  passing 
idea,  however,  and  not  likely  to  be  realised. 


Singapore.  June  IZth. — Singapore. — We  arrived  at  about  noon.  I  find 
a  new  governor,  Colonel  Cavanagh.  ...  I  am  to  take  up  my 
abode  at  the  Government  House.  Not  much  news  from  China, 
but  a  letter  from  Hope  Grant,  asking  me  to  order  to  China  a 
Sikh  regiment,  which  has  been  stopped  here  by  Canning's 
orders,  and  I  think  I  shall  take  the  responsibility  of  reversing 
C.'s  order,  with  which  the  men  were  very  much  disgusted. 

The  next  day  he  was  afloat  again,  on  his  way  to 

June  Ikth. — When  you  receive  this,  you  will  be  thinking 
of  dear  Bruce's  school  plans.  Would  that  I  could  share  your 
thoughts  and  anxieties  !  .  .  .  I  have  been  reading  a  rather 
curious  book — the  f  Life  of  Perthes,'  a  Hamburg  bookseller. 
It  reveals  something  of  the  working  of  the  inner  life  of  Ger- 
many during  the  time  of  the  first  Napoleonic  Empire.  It 
might  interest  you. 

June  17 'th. — Another  Sunday.  How  many  since  we  parted? 
I  cannot  count  them.  It  seems  to  me  as  if  a  good  many  years 
had  elapsed  since  that  sad  evening  at  Dover.  But  here  I  am 
going  on  farther  and  farther  from  home  !  We  hope  to  reach 
Hong-kong  on  Thursday  next ;  but  that  is  not  the  end  of  my 
Books.  voyage,  though  it  is  the  beginning  of  my  work.  I  am  still 
comparatively  idle,  ransacking  the  captain's  cabin  for  books. 
The  last  I  have  read  is  Kingsley's  '  Two  Years  Ago.'  I  do 
not  wonder  that  you  ladies  like  Kingsley,  for  he  makes  all  his 
women  guardian  angels. 

June  19 th. — I  have  read  Trench's  (  Lectures  on  English' 
since  yesterday.  I  think  you  know  them,  but  I  had  not  done 
more  than  glance  at  them  before.  They  open  up  a  curious 
field  of  research  if  one  had  time  enough  to  enter  upon  it.  The 
monotony  of  our  life  is  not  broken  by  many  incidents.  Tenny- 
son's poem  of  the  (  Lotus-Eaters '  suits  us  well,  as  we  move 
noiselessly  through  this  polished  sea,  on  which  the  great  eye  of 
the  sun  is  glaring  down  from  above.  We  passed  a  ship  yester- 
day with  all  sails  set.  This  was  an  event ;  to-day  a  butterfly 
made  its  appearance.  In  two  days  I  may  be  forming  decisions 
on  which  the  well-being  of  thousands  of  our  fellow-creatures 
may  be  contingent. 

June  20th. — Still  it  is  sad,  sometimes  almost  overwhelming, 
to  think  of  the  many  causes  of  anxiety  from  which  you  may 

1860.  SHANGHAE.  331 

be  suffering,  of  which  for  months  I  can  have  no  knowledge, 
and  with  which  these  letters  when  you  receive  them  may 
seem  to  have  no  sympathy.  ...  1  can  only  pray  that  you 
may  have  in  your  troubles  a  protection  and  a  guidance  more 
effectual  than  any  which  I  could  afford  when  I  was  with 
you.  .  .  .  As  to  my  own  particular  interests,  I  mean  those 
connected  with  my  mission,  I  can  hardly  form  any 'conjectures. 
....  I  am  glad  that  the  time  for  work  is  arriving,  though  I 
cannot  but  feel  a  little  nervous  anxiety  until  I  know  what 
I  shall  learn  at  Hong-kong  respecting  our  prospects  with  the 
Chinese,  &c.  &c. 

Arrived  at  Hong-kong  on  the  following  day,  he 
found  letters  from  his  brother  Frederick — 4  generous 
1  and  magnanimous  as  ever  ' — giving  him  some  hope  of 
there  being  an  opening  for  diplomacy,  and  a  chance  of 
settling  matters  speedily.  In  this  hope  he  pressed  on 
to  Shanghae,  whither  the  naval  and  military  authorities 
with  whom  he  was  to  act  had  preceded  him. 

Steamship  'Ferooz.' — At  Sea. — June  27th. — We  are  rolling 
a  great  deal  and  very  uncomfortably, — a  more  disagreeable 
passage  than  I  made  last  time  in  the  month  of  March.  So 
much  for  all  the  talk  about  the  monsoon.  ...  Writing  is  no 
easy  matter ;  and  I  shall  probably  also  have  little  time  after 
reaching  Shanghae  to-morrow,  as  the  mail  is  likely  to  leave  on 
Saturday  next,  and  I  may  have  despatches  to  send  which  will 
occupy  my  time.  ...  I  cannot  go  much  farther,  for  already 
I  am  separated  from  you  by  nearly  one-half  of  the  globe.  I 
sometimes  think  of  how  I  am  to  return  for  a  change, — by  the 
Pacific,  by  Siberia.  It  would  be  rather  a  temptation  to  take 
this  overland  route.  Thurlow,1  it  appears,  has  already  written 
to  St.  Petersburg  to  ask  leave  for  himself  and  Crealock  to 
return  through  Russia.  Alas  !  these  are  castles  in  the  air, 
very  well  to  indulge  in  before  we  reach  Shanghae  and  the 
stern  realities  of  the  mission. 

At  Shanghae  he  had  the  happiness  of  meeting  his 
brother,  and  the  benefit  of  hearing  from  his  own  lips  a 
full  account  of  the  past,  and  discussing  with  him  their 

1  The  Honourable  T.  J.  Hovell  Thurlow,  attache  to  the  Embassy. 


common  plans  for  the  future.  The  noble  qualities  of 
that  brother,  shining  out  the  more  brightly  in  adverse 
circumstances,  filled  him  with  admiration  which  his 
affectionate  nature  delighted  to  express. 

Mr.  Bruce.  Shanghae. — June  30th. — Frederick  is  a  noble-hearted  man  ; 
perhaps  the  noblest  I  have  ever  met  with  in  my  experience  of 
my  fellows.  .  .  .  He  has  had  a  most  difficult  task  here  to 
perform,  and  to  the  best  of  my  judgment  has  performed  it  with 
great  ability. 

Shanghae,  July  1st. — Frederick,  partly  from  generosity  of 
character,  and  partly  from  sympathy  with  the  Admiral  and 
admiration  of  his  valour,  abstained  from  stating  in  his  own 
justification  all  the  circumstances  of  the  unfortunate  affair  at 
the  Peiho  last  year.  Moreover,  Frederick's  policy  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Peiho  was  one  which  required  success  to  justify 
it  in  the  eyes  of  persons  at  a  distance.  After  the  failure,  no 
matter  by  whose  fault,  he  could  not  have  escaped  invidious 
criticism,  however  clear  might  have  been  his  demonstration 
that  for  that  failure  he  was  not  directly  or  indirectly  respon- 
sible. Therefore  I  think  it  probable  that  the  result  will  prove 
that,  in  following  the  dictates  of  his  own  generous  nature,  he 
adopted  the  course  which  in  the  long-run  will  be  found  to  have 
been  the  wisest.  ...  I  do  not  like  to  speak  too  confidently 
of  the  future.  Of  course  their  victory  of  last  year  has  in- 
creased the  self-confidence  of  the  Chinese  Government,  and 
rendered  it  more  arrogant  in  its  tone.  Nevertheless,  I  am  of 
opinion  that  the  result  will  prove  that  I  estimated  correctly 
their  power  of  resistance  ;  that  we  have  spent  in  our  arma- 
ments against  them  three  times  as  much  as  was  necessary ; 
and  that,  if  we  have  difficulties  to  encounter,  they  are  likely  to 
be  due  not  to  the  strength  of  the  enemy,  but  to  the  cumbrous 
preparations  of  ourselves  and  allies,  and  the  loss  of  time  and 
hazards  of  climate,  and  other  embarrassments  which  we  are 
creating  for  ourselves.  My  last  remark  to  Lord  Palmerston 
was,  that  I  would  rather  march  on  Pekin  with  5,000  men  than 
with  25,000. 

On  board  the  '  Ferooz.' — July  5th. — Four  P.M. — We  have 
passed  out  of  the  Shanghae  river  into  the  Yangtze-kiang. 
It  is  delightfully  cool,  and  the  wind  which  is  now  against  us 
will  be  with  us  when  we  get  out  to  sea,  and  direct  our  course 

18GO.  TALIEN-WIIAN.  333 

to  the  North.  .  .  .  Frederick's  conduct  has  won  for  him,  and 
most  justly,  general  admiration.  A  hint  was  given  to  me 
before  I  started,  that  an  ambassador  would  meet  me  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Peiho  as  soon  as  I  arrived.  If  a  proceeding  of 
this  nature  on  the  part  of  the  Court  of  Pekin  precedes  our 
capture  of  the  forts,  it  will  be  a  great  embarrassment  to  me. 
The  poor  old  '  Furious  '  was  lying  at  anchor  at  Shanghae. 
To  see  her  brought  back  many  feelings  of  '  auld  lang  syne.' 
Shanghae  altogether  excited  in  my  mind  a  good  deal  of  a 
home  feeling.  It  was  the  place  at  which,  during  my  first 
mission,  I  had  enjoyed  most  repose.  .  .  .  Frederick  remains 
there  until  I  have  completed  my  work  in  the  North,  and  I 
think  he  is  right  in  doing  so,  although  I  should  have  been  glad 
of  his  company  and  assistance. 

July  6th. — It  does  not  do  to  be  sanguine  in  this  world,  still 
I  have  cause  to  hope  that  our  business  in  the  North  will  be 
speedily  settled,  if  we  can  only  get  the  French  to  begin  at 
once.  What  I  have  to  consider  is  how  best  to  prevent  my 
mission  from  impairing  in  any  degree  Frederick's  authority 
and  prestige.  As  regards  his  own  countrymen  there  is  little 
danger  of  this  result ;  he  already  stands  so  high  in  their  esteem. 
With  the  Chinese  there  may  be  more  fear  of  this  result ;  but 
it  is  so  much  in  accordance  with  their  notions  that  an  elder 
brother  should  take  the  part  which  I  am  now  doing,  that  I  do 
not  think  the  risk  is  great,  and  were  it  so,  even,  I  should  find 
some  means  of  counteracting  the  evil. 

The  place  appointed  for  the  assembling  of  the  English  Taiien- 
forces  was  the  bay  of  Talien-Whan,  near  the  southern 
extremity  of  a  promontory  named  Regent's  Sword, 
which,  running  down  from  the  north  into  the  Yellow 
Sea,  cuts  off  on  its  western  side  a  large  gulf,  of  which 
the  northern  part  is  known  by  the  name  of  Leao-Tong, 
the  southern  by  the  name  of  Pecheli.  The  rendezvous 
of  the  French  was  at  Chefoo,  about  eighty  miles  south 
of  Talien-Whan,  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  strait 
which  forms  the  entrance  of  the  lar^e  gulf  already 
mentioned.  Both  places  are  about  200  miles  distant 
from  the  mouth  of  the  Peiho,  which  is  at  the  western 
extremity  of  the  gulf. 


It  was  on  the  9th  of  July  that  Lord  Elgin  reached 
the  shores  where  lay  already  congregated  the  formidable 
force,  for  the  employment  of  which,  as  the  secular  arm 
of  his  diplomacy,  he  was  henceforth  to  be  responsible. 

July  9th. — Eight  A.M. — It  is  a  calm  sea  and  scorching  sun, 
very  hot,  and  it  looks  hotter  still  in  that  bay,  protected  by  bare 
rocky  promontories  and  islets,  and  backed  by  hills,  within 
which  we  discover  a  fleet  at  anchor.  What  will  this  day  bring 
forth?  How  much  we  are  in  the  hand  of  Providence,  '  rough- 
f  hew  our  ends  as  we  may  ! '  In  little  more  than  an  hour  we 
shall  probably  be  at  our  journey's  clos.e  for  the  time. 

Country-          I  have  just  heard  a  story  of  the  poor  country-people  here. 

people.  ^  few  ^av!s  ag0^  a  party  Of  drunken  sailors  went  to  a  village, 
got  into  a  row,  and  killed  a  man  by  mistake.  On  the  day  fol- 
lowing, three  officers  went  to  the  village  armed  with  revolvers. 
The  villagers  surrounded  them,  took  from  them  the  revolvers 
(whether  the  officers  fired  or  not  is  disputed),  and  then  con- 
ducted them,  without  doing  them  any  injury,  to  their  boat. 
An  officer,  with  an  interpreter,  was  then  sent  to  the  village 
to  ask  for  the  revolvers.  They  were  at  once  given  up,  the 
villagers  stating  that  they  had  no  wish  to  take  them,  but  that 
as  one  of  their  number  had  been  shot  already,  they  objected  to 
people  coming  to  them  with  arms. 

July  10th. — What  will  the  House  of  Commons  say  when 
the  bill  which  has  to  be  paid  for  this  war  is  presented  ?  The 
expense  is  enormous :  in  my  opinion,  utterly  disproportionate 
to  the  objects  to  be  effected.  The  Admiral  is  doing  things 
excellently  well,  if  money  be  no  object. 

July  12th. — We  are  in  a  delightful  climate.  Troops  and  all 
in  good  health.  I  shall  not,  however,  dilate  on  these  points, 
because  I  am  sure  you  will  read  all  about  it  in  the  Times. 
'  Our  Own  Correspondent '  is  in  the  next  cabin  to  me,  com- 
pleting his  letter.  I  leave  it  to  him  to  tell  all  the  agreeable 
and  amusing  things  that  are  occurring  around  us.  My  letters 
to  you  are  nothing  but  the  record  of  incidents  that  happen  to 
affect  me  at  the  time ;  trifling  things  sometimes ;  sometimes 
things  that  irritate ;  things  that  pass  often  and  leave  no  im- 
pression, as  clouds  reflected  on  a  lake. 

Cavalry  Talien-Whan  Bay. — July   I4t/i. — Yesterday,   at    an    early 

camP-         hour,  the  French  Admiral  and  General  arrived.     It  was  agreed 

1800.  SIR   HOPE   GRANT.  335 

that  they  should  go  over  to  the  cavalry  camp  011  the  other  side 
of  the  bay,  some  ten  miles  off,  and  that  I  should  accompany 
them.  No  doubt  you  will  see  in  the  Times  a  full  account  of 
all  that  took  place  on  the  occasion.  Nothing  could  be  more 
perfect  than  the  condition  of  the  force,  both  men  and  horses. 
The  picturesqueness  of  the  scene ;  the  pleasant  bay,  with  its 
sandy  margin  and  background  of  bleak  hills,  seamed  by  the 
lines  of  the  cavalry  tents ;  the  troops  drawn  up  in  the  fore- 
ground in  all  their  variety  of  colour  and  costume,  from  the 
two  squadrons  of  H.M.'s  Dragoon  Guards  on  the  right  to  the 
two  squadrons  of  Fane's  light-blue  Sikh  Irregulars  on  the  left ; 
the  experiments  with  the  Armstrong  guns — from  one  of  which 
a  shell  was  fired  which  went  over  the  hills  and  vanished  into 
space,  no  one  knows  whither — will  all  be  described  by  a  more 
graphic  pen  than  mine.  The  weather  was  excellent.  Enough 
covering  over  the  sky  to  prevent  the  rays  of  the  sun  from 
striking  us  too  fiercely,  and  yet  no  rain.  The  proceedings  of 
the  day  terminated  by  some  tours  de  force  of  the  Sikh  cavalry 
and  their  officers  ;  wrenching  tent-pegs  from  the  ground  with 
their  lances,  and  cutting  oranges  with  their  sabres  when  at 
full  gallop.  Everything  went  to  confirm  the  favourable 
opinion  of  the  state  of  the  army  here  which  I  expressed  in  my 
last  letter.  Hope  Grant  seems  very  much  liked.  It  can  hardly  sir  Hope 
be  otherwise,  for  there  is  a  quiet  simplicity  and  kindliness 
about  his  manner  which,  in  a  man  so  highly  placed,  must  be 
most  winning.  I  am  particularly  struck  by  the  grin  of  delight 
with  which  the  men  of  a  regiment  of  Sikhs  (infantry)  who 
were  with  him  at  Lucknow,  greet  him  whenever  they  meet 
him.  I  observed  on  this  to  him,  and  he  said  :  '  Oh,  we  were 
'  always  good  friends.  I  used  to  visit  them  when  they  were 
'  sick,  poor  fellows.  They  are  in  many  ways  different  from  the 
'  Mohammedans.  Their  wives  used  to  come  in  numbers,  and 
'  walk  over  the  house  where  Lady  Grant  and  I  lived.'  The 
contrast  with  what  I  saw  when  I  was  in  China  before,  in 
regard  to  the  treatment  of  the  natives,  is  most  remarkable. 
There  seems  to  be  really  no  plundering  or  bullying.  In  so 
far  as  I  can  see,  we  have  here  at  present  a  truly  model  army 
and  navy  :  not  however,  I  fear,  a  cheap  one. 

The  Admiral  told  me  last  night  he  had  written  to  the  Ad- 
miralty to  say  that,  looking  to  the  future,  he  believed  there 
were  two  distinct  operations  by  which  the  Pekin  Government 


could  be  coerced,— either  by  a  military  force  on  a  large  scale 
such  as  this,  or  by  a  blockade  of  the  Gulf  of  Pecheli,  under- 
taken early  in  the  year,  &c.  I  was  glad  to  hear  him  say  this, 
because  I  recommended  the  latter  course  immediately  after 
we  heard  of  the  Peiho  disaster,  with  a  view  to  save  all  this 
expenditure ;  and  I  still  think  that  if  the  measures  which  I 
advised  had  been  adopted,  including  the  sending  up  to  the 
north  of  China  two  or  three  regiments  (enough,  with  the 
assistance  of  the  fleet,  to  take  the  Taku  Forts),  much  of  this 
outlay  might  have  been  spared. 

Sunday,  July  \5th. — I  have  been  on  board  the  Admiral's 
ship  for  church.  Afterwards  1  had  some  talk  with  him  in 
regard  to  future  proceedings.  .  .  .  The  problem  we  have  to 
solve  here  is  a  very  difficult  one ;  for  while  we  are  up  here  for 
the  purpose  of  bringing  pressure  to  Hear  on  the  Emperor,  as  a 
means  of  placing  our  relations  with  China  on  a  proper  footing, 
•  we  have  news  from  the  South  which  looks  as  if  the  Government 

of  the  Empire  was  about  to  pass  out  of  his  feeble  hands  into 
those  of  the  Rebels,  who  have  upon  us  the  claim  that  they 
profess  a  kind  of  Christianity. 

A  birth-  July   20th.1 — I   know  that  you  will  not  forget  this   day, 

^*7*  though  it  can  only  remind  you  of  the  declining  years  and  fre- 

quent wanderings  of  one  who  ought  to  be  your  constant  pro- 
tector, and  always  at  your  side.  It  is  very  sad  that  we  should 
pass  it  apart,  but  I  can  say  something  comforting  upon  it. 
The  Admiral  and  General  came  here  yesterday,  and  agreed 
with  the  French  authorities  that  the  two  fleets  are  to  start  for 
the  rendezvous  on  the  26th.  Ignatieff,  the  Russian,  who  made 
his  appearance  here  to-day,  said,  '  After  your  force  lands,  I 
'give  you  six  days  to  finish  everything.'  If  he  says  what  he 
thinks,  it  is  a  promising  view  of  things.  Six  days  before  we 
start,  six  days  to  land  the  troops,  and  six  days  to  finish  the 
war !  Eighteen  days  from  this,  and  we  may  be  talking  of 
peace.  Alas  !  what  resemblance  will  the  facts  bear  to  these 
anticipations  ? 

Chefoo.  Talien-Whan. — July  21  st. — Now  for  a  word  about  Chefoo. 

I  had  agreed  to  dine  with  the  General,  Montauban,  on  the 
night  of  my  arrival,  so,  after  visiting  Gros,  I  went  to  his  head- 
quarters. I  found  him  in  a  very  well-built,  commodious 
Chinese  house.  I  must  tell  you  that,  as  we  were  entering  the 

1  His  birthday. 


bay,  we  descried  a  steamer  a-head  of  us,  and  it  turned  out  to 
be  a  vessel  sent  by  the  French  to  examine  the  spot  (south  of 
the  Peiho  Forts),  which  had  been  selected  for  the  place  of 
their  debarkation  when  the  attack  comes  off.  On  the  evening  Plans  for 
of  our  dinner,  the  General  did  not  enter  into  particulars,  but  landins- 
gave  me  to  understand  that  the  result  of  the  exploration  had 
been  very  unsatisfactory,  and  that  his  scheme  for  landing  was 
altogether  upset.  I  heard  this  with  considerable  dismay,  as  I 
feared  that  it  might  be  employed  as  a  reason  for  delay.  Before 
we  parted  that  night,  I  agreed  to  land  next  morning,  to  see 
his  artillery,  &c.  He  read  me  the  unfavourable  report  of  his 
exploring  party,  which  was  headed  by  Colonel  Schmid,  a  great 
friend  of  the  Emperor's,  and  the  best  man  (so  they  say)  they 
have  got  here.  He  contends  that  all  along  the  line  of  coast 
there  is  a  band  of  hard  sand,  at  a  considerable  distance  from 
low-water  mark ;  that  the  water  upon  it  is  very  shallow ;  and 
that,  beyond,  there  is  an  interval  of  soft  mud,  over  which 
cannon,  &c.,  could  not  be  carried.  The  French  are  no  doubt 
very  much  behind  us  in  their  preparations,  but  then  it  is  fair 
to  say  that  they  have  not  spent  a  tenth  part  of  the  money, 
and  with  their  small  resources  they  have  done  a  good  deal.  It 
was  wonderful  how  their  little  wild  Japanese  ponies  had  been 
trained  in  a  few  days  to  draw  their  guns.  After  the  review 
we  took  a  ride  to  the  top  of  a  hill,  from  whence  we  had  a  very 
fine  prospect.  It  is  a  much  more  fertile  district  than  this, 
beautifully  cultivated,  and  the  houses  better  than  I  have  seen 
anywhere  else  in  China.  The  people  seemed  very  comfort- 
able, and  their  relations  with  the  French  are  satisfactory,  as 
we  may  infer  from  the  abundant  supplies  brought  to  market. 
On  the  following  morning  the  English  Admiral  and  General 
arrived.  They  had  their  interview  with  the  French  author- 
ities, and  settled  that  on  the  26th  the  fleets  should  sail  from 
Talien-Whan  and  Chefoo  respectively  to  the  rendezvous,  some- 
where opposite  Taku.  From  that  point  the  Admirals  and 
Generals  are  to  proceed  on  a  further  exploration,  and  to  effect 
a  disembarkation  on  the  earliest  possible  day.  So  the  matter 
stands  for  the  present.  The  state  of  Europe  is  very  awkward, 
and  an  additional  reason  for  finishing  this  affair.1  For  if  Russia 
and  France  unite  against  us,  not  only  will  they  have  a  pretty 

1  The  reference  apparently  is  to  the  uneasiness  produced  in  Europe  by 
the  annexation  of  Savoy  to  France. 



large  force  here,  but  they  will  get  news  via  Kussia  sooner  than 
we  do,  which  may  be  inconvenient. 

July  22nd}  tiunday. — The  thirteenth  since  we  parted.  It 
seems  like  as  many  months  or  years.  Some  one  said  to-day  at 
breakfast  that  it  is  the  last  quiet  one  we  are  likely  to  have  for 
a  while.  In  one  sense  I  hope  this  may  turn  out  to  be  true. 
.  .  .  To-morrow  our  cavalry  and  artillery  are  to  be  embarked. 
This  takes  place  on  the  other  side  of  this  bay,  and  I  intend  to 
go 'over  to  see  the  operation. 

July  26th. — Noon. — I  am  now  starting  (having  witnessed 
the  departure  of  the  fleet)  for  the  scene  of  action  in  th^  Gulf 
of  Pecheli.  The  sight  of  this  forenoon  has  been  a  very  striking 
one,  just  enough  breeze  to  enable  the  vessels  to  spread  their 
sails.  We  have  about  180  miles  to  go  to  the  point  of  rendez- 
vous. .  .  .  Meanwhile,  one  has  as  usual  one's  crop  of  small 
troubles.  The  servants  threatened  to  strike  yesterday,  but 
they  were  soon  brought  to  reason. 

The"  July  27th. —  Ten  A.M. — We  have  reached    our   destination 

rendez-  after  a  most  smooth  passage,  during  which  we  have  followed 
close  in  the  wake  of  the  Admiral.  ...  I  am  reading  the 
Jesuit  <  Lettres  edifiantes  et  curieuses,'  which  are  the  reports  of  the 
Jesuit  missionaries  who  were  established  in  China  at  the  com- 
mencement of  the  last  century.  They  are  very  interesting, 
and  the  writers  seem  to  have  been  good  and  zealous  people. 
At  the  same  time  one  cannot  help  being  struck  by  their 
puerility  on  many  points.  The  doctrine  of  baptismal  regenera- 
tion pushed  to  its  extreme  logical  conclusions,  as  it  is  by  them, 
leads  to  rather  strange  practical  consequences.  Starting  from 
the  principle  that  all  unbaptized  children  are  certainly  eternally 
lost,  and  all  baptized  (if  they  die  immediately)  as  certainly 
j  saved,  they  naturally  infer  that  they  do  more  for  the  kingdom 
!  of  heaven  by  baptizing  dying  children  than  by  any  other  work 
*  of  conversion  in  which  they  can  be  engaged.  The  sums  which 
they  expend  in  sending  people  about  the  streets,  to  administer 
this  sacrament  to  all  the  moribund  children  they  can  find  ;  the 
arts  which  they  employ  to  perform  this  office  secretly  on 
children  in  this  state  whom  they  are  asked  to  treat  medically; 
and  the  glee  with  which  they  record  the  success  of  their  tricks, 
are  certainly  remarkable.  From  some  passages  I  infer  that,  in 
the  Roman  Catholic  view  of  the  case,  the  rite  of  baptism  may 
be  administered  even  by  an  unbeliever. 

I860.  PLANS   FOR   LANDING.  339 

Two  P.M.— Hope  Grant  has  been  on  board.     He  tells  me  The  Pey- 
that  the  mouth  of  the  Pey-tang  is  not   staked,   and  that  the  tang> 
'  Action's  '  boat  went  three  miles  up  the  river.     This  river  is 
seven  or  eight  miles  from  the  Peiho,  and  the  Chinese  have 
had  a  year  to  prepare  to  resist   us.     It  appears  that  there  is 
nothing  to  prevent  the  gunboats  from  going  up  that  river. 

July  28th — Eleven  A.M. — The  earlier  part  of  last  night  was 
very  hot,  .  .  .  and  I  got  feverish  and  could  not  sleep.  To- 
wards morning  the  good  luck  of  the  leaders  in  this  expedition 
came  again  into  play ;  a  breeze  sprang  up  from  the  right 
quarter,  so  that  the  whole  of  the  sailing  ships  have  been  helped 
marvellously  on  their  way.  When  I  went  on  deck  the  whole 
line  of  the  French  fleet — it  consists  almost  exclusively  of 
steamers — was  coming  gallantly  on,  Gros  at  the  head.  He  is 
quite  cutting  me  out  this  time.  The  farther  distance  was  filled 
by  our  sailing  transports  scudding  before  the  wind.  They 
have  been  filing  past  us  ever  since,  dropping  into  their  places, 
which  are  rather  difficult  to  find,  as  the  Admiral  has  changed 
all  his  dispositions  since  his  arrival  here.  The  captain  of  the 
'  Action  '  dined  here  yesterday.  He  told  me  he  had  gone  a 
mile  or  two  up  the  Pey-tang  river,  been  allowed  to  land,  seen 
the  fort,  which  is  quite  open  behind,  and  contains  about  a 
hundred  men.  Thirty  thousand  English  (fleet  and  army)  and 
ten  thousand  French  ought  to  be  a  match  for  so  far-sighted 
an  enemy.  However,  I  suppose  we  must  not  crow  till  we 
see  what  the  Tartar  warriors  are.  Three  P.M. — The  French 
Admiral  has  just  been  here.  He  tells  me  that  we  are  to  move 
from  the  anchorage  to  a  place  nearer  Pey-tang  on  Monday, 
and  that  on  Tuesday  a  reconnaissance  in  force  is  to  be  made  on 
that  place,  with  the  intention,  I  presume,  of  taking  it. 

z  2 











T116.  ON  the  1st  of  August  the  landing  of  the  allied  troops 
was  effected  in  perfect  order,  without  the  slightest  op- 
position on  the  part  of  the  inhabitants,  at  the  point 
already  mentioned,  viz.  near  the  little  town  of  Pey-tang 
which  is  situated  at  the  mouth  of  a  river  of  the  same 
name,  about  eight  miles  north  of  the  mouth  of  the 
Peiho.  What  Lord  Elgin  saw  of  the  operations  is  de- 
scribed in  the  following  letter : — 

August  2nd. — There  have  been  a  few  days'  interval  since  I 
wrote,  and  I  now  date  from  Pey-tang,  and  from  the  General's 
ship  the  '  Granada,'  a  Peninsular  and  Oriental  steamer  ;  for  I 
owe  it  to  him  that  I  am  here.  I  need  hardly  tell  you  the  events 
that  have  occurred — public  events  I  mean — since  the  28th,  as 
they  will  all  be  recorded  by  '  Our  Own.'  We  moved  on  the  29th 
to  a  different  anchorage,  some  five  miles  nearer  Pey-tang.  .  . 
All  the  evidence  was  to  the  effect  that  the  Pey-tang  Forts  were 
undefended,  at  least  that  there  were  no  barricades  in  the  river, 
and  therefore  that  the  best  way  of  taking  them  would  be  to 
pass  them  in  the  gunboats  as  we  did  the  Peiho  Forts  in  1858, 
and  as  we  also  passed  Nankin  that  year  ....  but  it  was 
resolved  that  we  should  land  a  quantity  of  men  in  the  mud 




ibout  a  mile  and  a  half  below  them.  This  was  to  have  taken 
place  on  the  30th,  and  those  of  my  gentlemen  who  intended  to 
leave  me,  as  better  fun  was  to  be  found  elsewhere,  kept  up  a 
tremendous  bustle  and  noise  from  about  4  A.M.  However, 
at  about  6,  they  were  informed  that  the  orders  for  landing 
were  countermanded,  on  the  plea  that  there  was  too  much  sea 
to  admit  of  the  horses  being  transferred  from  the  vessels  to  the 
gunboats.  Next  day,  the  31st,  it  was  raining,  and  the  sea 
seemed  rougher  in  the  morning.  However,  at  about  9,  the 
gunboats  began  to  move.  The  General  had  agreed  that  I 
should  have  his  ship,  and  that  I  should  move  either  over  the 
bar  or  as  near  to  it  as  I  could  manage.  ...  I  anchored 
the  (  Granada'  outside  the  bar,  and  as  I  did  net  choose  to 
lose  the  sight  of  the  landing,  I  got  into  my  row-boat  .... 
going  at  last  on  board  the  ( Coromandel,'  the  Admiral's 
ship.  The  landing  went  on  merrily  enough.  It  was  a  lovely, 
rather  calm  evening.  We  were  within  a  long-range  shot  of 
the  Forts  ;  and  if  shot  or  shell  had  dropped  among  the  boats 
and  men  who  were  huddled  up  on  the  edge  of  the  mud-bank, 
it  would  have  been  inconvenient.  Our  enemy,  however,  had 
no  notion  of  doing  anything  so  ungenerous ;  so  the  landing 
went  on  uninterruptedly,  the  French  carrying  almost  all  they 
wanted  on  their  backs,  our  men  employing  coolies,  &c.,  for 
that  purpose.  We  saw  nothing  of  the  enemy  except  the 
movements  of  a  few  Tartar  horsemen  out  of  and  into  the 
town,  galloping  along  the  narrow  causeway  on  which  our 
troops  were  to  march.  At  midnight  eight  gunboats — six 
English  and  two  French— steamed  past  the  Forts.  It  was  a 
moment  of  some  excitement,  because  we  did  not  know  whether 
or  not  they  would  be  fired  at.  However,  nothing  of  the  kind 
took  place ;  and,  about  an  hour  after  they  had  started,  three 
rockets  that  soared  and  burst  over  the  village  intimated  that 
they  had  reached  the  place  appointed  to  them.  Having  wit- 
nessed this  part  of  the  proceedings  I  lay  down  on  the  deck 
with  my  great-coat  over  me ;  but  not  for  long,  for  at  half-past 
two,  Captain  Dew  (my  old  friend)1  arrived  with  the  announce- 
ment that,  having  been  on  an  errand  to  the  lines  of  the  troops, 
he  had  met  a  party  of  French  soldiers  who  were  obliging  some 
Chinese  to  carry  a  wooden  gun  which  they  had  captured  in  the 

1  Captain  Roderick  Dew  had  been 
engaged  at  the  capture  of  Canton  in 

December,  1857,  and   also  in  May, 
1858,  at  the  taking  of  the  Taku  forts. 


fort,  declaring  that  they  had  entered  it,  found  it  deserted,  and 
possessed  of  no  defences  but  two  wooden  guns.  It  turned  out 
that  they  had  not  entered  first,  but  that  an  English  party, 
headed  by  Mr.  Parkes,  had  preceded  them.  This  rather  pro- 
mised to  diminish  the  interest  of  the  attack  on  the  forts  which 
had  been  fixed  for  half-past  four  in  the  morning.  But  there 
was  another  fort  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  river,  perhaps 
there  might  be  some  resistance  there.  Alas !  vain  hope. 
Three  shots  were  fired  at  it  from  the  gunboats  which  had  passed 
through  during  the  night,  and  some  twenty  labourers  walked 
out  of  it  to  seek  a  more  secure  field  for  their  industry  in  some 
neighbouring  village.  Afterwards  our  troops  went  in  and 
found  it  empty  as  the  other  ;  so  ended  the  capture  of  Pey-tang. 
We  came  over  the  bar  in  the  evening,  and  I  went  to  see 
Hope  Grant  at  the  captured  fort,  where  he  has  fixed  his  abode. 
While  there  we  discovered  a  strongish  body  of  Tartar  cavalry, 
at  a  distance  of  about  four  miles  along  the  causewray  which 
leads  from  this  to  Tientsin  and  Taku.  I  urged  the  General  to 
send  out  a  party  to  see  what  these  gentry  were  doing,  lest  they 
should  be  breaking  up  the  causeway,  or  doing  any  other  mis- 
chief; and  I  heard  from  him  this  morning  that  he  had  arranged 
with  General  Montauban  to  do  so,  and  that  a  party  of  2,000 
men  started  on  that  errand  early.  The  Tartars  seem  to  be  in 
greater  force  than  was  supposed.  The  officer  in  command 
(rightly  or  wrongly,  I  know  not  \\hich)  resolved  to  consider 
the  expedition  merely  a  reconnaissance,  and  to  retire  after 
staying  on  the  ground  a  short  time.  Of  course  the  Tartars 
will  consider  this  a  victory,  and  will  be  elated  by  it;  but 
perhaps  this  is  a  good  thing,  as  it  may  induce  them  to  face  us 
on  the  open.  The  ground  on  which  they  were  found  is  firm 
and  fit  for  cavalry,  and  is  about  four  miles  from  the  Peiho 
Forts.  This  is  a  very  nasty  place.  The  country  around  is 
all  under  water,  and  it  is  impossible  to  get  through  it  except 
by  moving  along  the  one  or  two  causeways  that  intersect  it. 
The  military  are,  therefore,  glad  to  find  sound  footing  at  no 
great  distance. 

Up  to  this  time  no  communication  of  any  kind  had 
passed  between  the  Special  Ambassadors  and  any  Chinese 
officials.  An  ultimatum  had  been  presented  by  Mr. 
Bruce  in  March,  demanding  an  apology  for  the  attack 

1860.  CHINESE  OVERTURES.  343 

on  our  ships  of  war,  the  immediate  ratification  of  the 
Treaty,    and    prompt   payment    of    the   indemnity   of 
4,000,000  taels,  as  therein  stipulated.    As  these  demands 
had  been  formally  refused  by  the  Chinese  Government, 
there  was  no  room  for  diplomacy.     Even  the  bare  an- 
louncement   of   his   arrival   Lord    Elgin   feared   they 
tight  interpret  as  an  invitation  to  treat,  and  use  as 
excuse  for  dilatory  and  evasive  negotiations.     The 
istice  of  this  view  was  proved  by  what  took  place  on 
te  5th  of  August.     Having  occasion  to  station  one  of 
us   ships   near  the  shore  for  the  purpose  of   getting 
rater,  the  Admiral  sent  a  flag  of  truce  to  warn  some 
'arfar  troops  posted  near  the  spot,  that  c  his  ship  had 
not  gone  there  with  the  view  of  making  an  attack,  but  Chinese 
that  it  would  fire  on  the  Tartars  if  they  approached  too  overtures* 
near  it.'  The  Governor- General  at  once  took  advantage 
of  the  opening  this  gave  him.    Affecting  to  believe  that 
the  flag  of  truce  came  from  Lord  Elgin,  he  addressed 
to  him  a  despatch  full  of  professions  of  amity,  and  say- 
ing that  he  l  had  received  instructions  to  discuss  and 
4  dispose  of  all  questions  with  the  British  Minister,7  but 
containing  no  mention  of  the  ultimatum.     To  this  and 
numerous  similar  missives,  which  came  for  a  time  in 
rapid  succession,  Lord  Elgin  had  but  one  reply — that  he 
could  discuss  nothing  until  the  demands  already  made 
had  been  satisfied. 

August  9th. — My  diplomacy  began  yesterday,  for  I  received 
in  the  morning  a  communication  from  the  Governor-General  of 
the  province,  not  frankly  conceding  our  demands,  but  making 
tolerably  plausible  proposals  for  the  sake  of  occasioning  delay. 
I  have  refused  to  stay  the  march  of  the  military  on  such  over- 
tures ;  but  the  great  slowness  of  our  operations  is  likely  to 
lead  me  into  diplomatic  difficulties.  The  Chinese  authorities, 
if  they  become  frightened,  are  clever  enough  to  advance  pro- 
positions which  it  may  be  impossible  to  accede  to  without  com- 
promising the  main  objects  of  this  costly  expedition,  and  by 
refusing  which  I  shall,  nevertheless,  expose  myself  to  great 
animadversion.  There  was  a  reconnaissance  again  this  morn- 


ing,  and  I  hope  from  the  report  of  Crealock  (who  accompanied 
it,  and  who  is  doing  very  well)  that  the  enemy  will  prove 
quite  as  little  formidable  as  I  have  always  expected.  The 
serious  advance  was  positively  to  have  taken  place  to-morrow, 
but  I  almost  fear  there  will  be  another  delay.  I  am  anxious  to 
conclude  peace  as  soon  as  possible  after  the  capture  of  the 
Peiho  Forts,  because,  from  what  I  have  seen  of  the  conduct  of 
the  French  here,  I  am  sure  that  they  will  commit  all  manner 
of  atrocities,  and  make  foreigners  detested  in  every  town  and 
village  they  enter.  Of  course  their  presence  makes  it  very 
difficult  to  maintain  discipline  among  our  own  people. 

Taking  of  The  '  serious  advance '  took  place  on  the  12th,  and 
the  forts.  wag  completely  successful.  On  that  day  the  Allies  took 
possession  of  the  little  town  of  Sinho:  two  days  later 
they  occupied  Tangkow.  The  forts,  however,  which 
guarded  the  entrance  of  the  Peiho — the  Taku  Forts, 
from  which  the  British  forces  had  been  so  disastrously 
repulsed  the  year  before — remained  untaken.  Opinions 
were  divided  as  to  the  plan  of  operations.  The  French 
were  for  attacking  first  the  great  fortifications  on  the 
right  or  southern  bank  of  the  river;  but  Sir  Robert 
Napier  urged  that  the  real  key  to  the  enemy's  position 
was  the  most  northerly  of  the  forts,  on  the  left  or 
northern  bank.  Happily  his  counsels  prevailed.  On  the 
21st  this  fort  was  taken  by  assault,  with  but  little 
loss  of  life;  and  the  soundness  of  the  judgment  which 
selected  the  point  of  attack  was  proved  by  the  immediate 
surrender  of  all  the  remaining  defensible  positions  on 
both  sides  of  the  river. 

During  the  greater  part  of  this  time  Lord  Elgin  was 
on  board  the  4  Granada,'  moored  off  Pey-tang,  suffering 
all  the  anxieties  of  an  active  spirit  condemned  to  in- 
activity in  the  midst  of  action :  responsible  generally  for 
the  fate  of  the  expedition,  yet  without  power  to  control 
any  detail  of  its  operations;  fretting  especially  at  the 
delays  which  are,  perhaps,  necessarily  incident  to  a 
divided  and  subdivided  command.  Writing  after  the 
surrender  of  the  Taku  Forts  he  said : — 


.1860.  TAKING  OF  THE  FORTS.  345 

I  have  torn  up  the  earlier  part  of  this  letter,  because  it  is 
needless  to  place  on  record  the  anxieties  I  felt  at  that  time. 
To  revert  to  the  portion  of  my  history  which  was  included 
in  the  part  of  my  letter  that  I  have  destroyed,  I  must  tell 
you  that  it  was  on  the  12th  that  the  troops  first  moved  out 
of  Pey-tang.  I  saw  them  defile  past,  and  in  the  afternoon  rode 
out  to  the  camp,  but  was  turned  back  by  a  large  body  of  Tartar 
cavalry,  who  menaced  my  flank,  and  as  some  of  my  people  had 
just  discovered,  in  the  apartment  of  the  Tartar  General  at  Sinho, 
a  letter  stating  that  they  were  determined  to  capture  the  ( big 
barbarian  himself  this  time,  I  thought  it  better  to  retrace  my 
steps.  The  second  action  took  place  on  the  14th,  and  on  the 
15th  I  rode  out  to  see  the  General,  and  had  a  conference  with 
him.  On  the  17th  I  went  to  the  gulf  to  see  Gros,  I  have 
had  dozens  of  letters  from  the  Chinese  authorities,  and  I  have 
answered  some  of  them,  not  in  a  way  to  give  them  much  plea- 
sure. All  these  details  were  given  at  full  length  in  my  annihi- 
lated letter,  but  already  they  seem  out  of  date. 

Tangkow. — August  23rd. — Grant  has  been  marvellously 
favoured  by  the  weather,  for  the  rain,  which  arrests  all  move- 
ments here,  stopped  the  day  before  he  moved  out  of  Pey-tang, 
and  began  again  about  an  hour  after  he  had  taken  the  Taku 
Fort,  which  led  to  the  surrender  of  the  whole.  I  must  also 
say  that  the  result  entirely  justified  the  selection  which  he 
made  of  his  point  of  attack,  and,  as  this  was  against  the  written 
opinion  of  the  French  General,  it  is  a  feather  in  Grant's  cap. 
The  Chinese  are  just  the  same  as  they  were  when  I  knew 
them  formerly.  They  fired  the  cannons  with  quite  as  little 
accuracy,  but  there  was  one  point  of  difference  in  their  pro- 
ceedings. On  previous  occasions  we  have  always  found  their 
forts  open  on  one  side ;  so  that,  when  they  were  turned,  the 
troops  left  them  and  escaped.  In  this  instance  they  were  en- 
closed with  ditches,  palisades,  stakes,  &c.,  so  that  the  poor 
fellows  had  nothing  for  it  but  to  remain  in  them  till  they  were 
pushed  out  by  bayonets.  Almost  all  our  casualties  occurred 
during  the  escalade.  I  went  through  the  hospitals  yesterday, 
and  found  very  few  who  had  been  struck  by  round  shot.  A 
very  small  portion  of  the  force  was  engaged,  so  that  my  opinion 
of  its  unnecessary  magnitude  is  not  shaken.  I  need  not  de- 
scribe the  action  for  you,  as  you  will  no  doubt  see  elsewhere 
a  detailed  account  of  it.  My  own  personal  history  will  not  be 


indifferent  to  you.  I  left  the  '  Granada '  at  about  5.30  P.M. 
on  the  20th  (Monday).  Found  some  dinner  and  a  tent  at  the 
camp  at  Sinho.  Started  next  morning  at  about  5.30  A.M.  ; 
rode  into  Tangkow,  where  I  now  am,  and  mounted  to  the  top 
of  the  Head-quarters'  House,  whence  I  had  a  very  good  view 
of  the  operations.  I  was  dislodged  after  a  while,  because  a 
battery  opened  fire  at  about  fifteen  hundred  yards  from  us, 
and  some  of  the  balls  fell  so  near,  that  we  began  to  think  they 
were  perhaps  firing  at  me.  On  being  dislodged  from  my 
Belvidere,  I  took  some  breakfast  to  console  myself;  and  soon 
after,  seeing  the  British  flag  on  the  fort  which  we  had  been 
attacking,  I  rode  over  to  it.  We  met  a  good  many  of  our 
own  wounded,  and  all  round  the  fort  were  numbers  of  the 
poor  Chinamen,  staked  and  massacred  in  all  sorts  of  ways.  I 
found  the  two  Generals  there,  and  soon  after  the  Admiral  came 
up  from  his  ship  under  a  flag  of  truce.  Two  letters  came  to 
me  from  the  Chinese ;  but,  true  to  my  policy  of  letting  the 
fighting  men  have  all  the  prestige  of  taking  the  Forts,  I  would 
not  have  anything  to  say  to  them.  The  messengers  were  told 
that  they  must  give  up  the  forts  to  the  Commanders-in-Chief 
before  I  would  listen  to  them;  and  that,  in  the  meantime, 
the  army  would  proceed  with  its  operations.  They  moved 
on  accordingly,  and  I  returned  to  my  post  of  observation  at 
Tangkow.  I  had  hardly  reached  it  when  the  rain  began,  and 
in  about  an  hour  the  roads  had  become  absolutely  impassable 
for  artillery,  and  nearly  so  for  everything  else.  The  troops 
met  with  no  resistance  at  the  second  fort,  and  the  indefatigable 
Parkes  having  gone  over  to  the  unfortunate  Governor-General, 
extorted  from  him  a  surrender  of  the  whole,  which  he  brought 
to  the  Commanders-in-Chief  on  the  morning  of  the  22nd,  having, 
I  believe,  dictated  its  terms.  Of  course,  Grant's  triumph  is 
complete,  and  deservedly  so.  ...  The  system  of  our  army 
involves  such  an  enormous  transportation  of  provisions,  &c., 
that  we  make,  however,  but  slow  progress.  1  have,  therefore, 
urged  the  Admiral,  who  has  got  through  the  barriers  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Peiho  (and  who  is  not  unwilling  to  go  ahead),  to 
proceed  up  the  river  with  his  gunboats :  if  he  meets  with  any 
obstructions  which  are  serious,  he  can  stop  his  progress,  and 
await  the  arrival  of  troops.  If  he  meets  none,  he  will  soon 
reach  Tientsin. 

August  24^.— This  morning,  at  about  four,  Grant  awoke  me 

18GO.  THE   PEIHO   AND   TIENTSIN.  .        347 

with  a  letter  from  the  Admiral,  saying  that  he  had  experienced 
going  up  the  river  exactly  what  we  did  in  1858 — the  poor 
>ple  coming  down  in  crowds  to  offer  suhmission  and  provi- 
sions, and  no  opposition  of  any  kind.  He  wrote  from  ten  miles 
below  Tientsin,  which  place  he  was  going  to  occupy  with  his 
small  gunboat  force.  The  General  has  agreed  to  despatch  a 
body  of  infantry  in  gunboats,  and  to  make  his  cavalry  march 
by  land ;  and  I  am  only  awaiting  the  return  of  the  Admiral 
to  move  on.  So  all  is  going  on  well.  Grant  has  also  agreed 
to  send  a  regiment  to  Shanghae  in  case  there  should  be  trouble 
there.  ...  It  really  looks  now  as  if  my  absence  would  not 
be  protracted  much  beyond  the  time  we  used  to  speak  of  before 
I  started.  ...  At  the  same  time.  I  do  not  like  to  be  too  con- 

August  25th. — Noon. — High  and  dry  at  about  fifteen  miles  The  Peiho. 
below  Tientsin.  This  must  remind  you  of  some  of  my  letters 
from  the  Yangtze,  two  years  ago.  We  started  this  morning  at 
6.30  in  the  '  Granada  : '  the  General  and  I,  with  both  our 
staffs.  We  had  gone  on  famously  to  this  point,  scraping 
through  the  mud  occasionally  with  success.  In  rounding  a 
corner,  however,  at  which  a  French  gunboat  had  already  stuck 
before  us,  we  have  run  upon  a  bank.  It  is  very  strange  to  me 
to  be  going  up  the  Peiho  river  again.  The  fertility  of  the 
plain  through  which  it  runs  strikes  me  more  than  it  did 
formerly.  The  harvest  is  at  hand,  and  the  crops  clothe  it 
luxuriantly.  The  poor  people  in  the  villages  do  not  appear  to 
fear  us  much.  We  treated  them  well  before,  and  they  expect 
similar  treatment  again.  The  Admiral  did  his  work  of  occupy- 
ing Tientsin  well.  .  .  .  He  has  great  qualities. 

Tientsin. —  Sunday,  August  26th. — We  reached  this  place  Tientsin. 
about  midnight.  It  was  about  the  most  nervous  operation  at 
which  I  ever  assisted,  going  round  the  sharp  turns  with  this 
long  ship  by  moonlight.  I  had  a  moment  of  painful  saisisse- 
ment  when  I  felt  almost  certain  that  we  should  run  into  my 
dear  colleague  Gros,  who  had  grounded  in  a  little  gunboat  at 
one  of  the  worst  bends  of  the  river.  We  only  saved  him  by 
dropping  an  anchor  from  the  stern,  and  going  backwards  full 
speed.  The  Yangtze  was  bad  enough,  but  we  never  used  to  go 
on  at  night,  and  there  was  no  danger  of  collisions.  This  ship 
looks  also  as  if  she  would  go  head  over  heels  much  more  easily 
than  the  '  Furious.'  I  am  waiting  for  Parkes  and  the  General 

348        .  SECOND   MISSION  TO   CHINA.  CH.  XIII. 

before  I  decide  as  to  landing,  &c.  Is  it  not  strange  to  be  here  ? 
Immediately  ahead  of  us  is  the  yamun  where  Gros  and  I 
spent  the  eventful  weeks  in  1858,  which  preceded  the  signa- 
ture of  the  treaties  of  Tientsin  !  Two  P.M.— We  are  to  have 
the  yamun  in  which  Reed  and  Putiatine  were  lodged  in  1858  ; 
a  much  better  quarter  than  our  old  one  ;  and  the  General, 
Gros,  and  I  are  all  to  lodge  in  it  together. 

Chinese  Tientsin. — August  27th. — I  had  a  very  bad  headache  after  I 

yamun.  ka(j  gent  Qff  faQ  ma'|  yesterday.  .  .  .  Our  ship  had,  moreover, 
got  aground,  and  was  lying  over  so  much  on  one  side  that  it 
seemed  possible  that  she  might  topple  over  altogether.  Under 
these  circumstances,  and  having  the  prospect  of  a  very  noisy 
night  on  board,  I  determined  to  land  and  sleep  in  my  yamun. 
The  portion  of  it  dedicated  to  me  consists  of  a  regular  Chinese 
garden 3  with  rockwork  and  bridges,  and  ponds  full  of  lotus 
leaves,  and  flowerpots  of  all  dimensions  with  shrubs  and  flowers 
in  them,  surrounded  on  two  sides  by  wooden  buildings,  con- 
taining rooms  with  carved  woodwork  and  other  Chinese  neat- 
nesses. It  is  the  only  house  of  a  Chinese  gentleman  I  have 
ever  inhabited,  for  when  I  was  here  before  I  dwelt  in  a  temple. 
The  mosquitoes  were  a  little  troublesome  at  first,  but  I  got 
my  net  up,  and  slept  tolerably,  better  than  I  should  have  done 
here ;  for  the  iron  ships  get  so  heated  by  the  sun  during  the 
day  that  they  are  never  cool,  however  fresh  the  night  air 
may  be. 

Negoti-  August  29th. — I  intended  to  have  told  you  that  I  was  send- 

ations.  'ng  a  gtl-flf  letter  to  my  old  friend  Kweiliang ;  but,  in  fact,  it 
has  taken  some  time  and  consultation  with  Gros  to  settle  its 
terms,  and  it  is  only  now  being  translated.  Yesterday  after- 
noon the  long-expected  mail  arrived.  .  .  .  Shall  I  really  eat 
my  Christmas  dinner  with  you  ?  Really  many  things  are 
more  improbable  than  that.  I  hoped  at  one  time  that  this 
letter  might  be  despatched  from  Pekin  ;  but  as  we  have  to 
meet  Commissioners  here,  and  to  make  a  kind  of  supplementary 
treaty  before  proceeding  thither,  it  is  doubtful  whether  we 
shall  accomplish  this.  I  am  not  sure  that  I  like  my  present 
domicile  as  well  as  I  did  my  domicile  here  in  1858,  because, 
although  it  is  a  great  deal  more  orne,  it  is  proportionably  hotter, 
being  surrounded  by  walls  which  we  cannot  see  over.  It  is  a 
great  place,  with  an  infinite  number  of  courts  and  rooms  of  all 
sizes.  I  should  think  several  families  must  live  in  it,  unless 


the  establishment  of  a  Chinese  gentleman  is  very  large  indeed. 
If  Kweiliang  and  Co.  come  into  our  terms,  my  present  inten- 
tion is  to  send  at  once  to  Frederick  officially,  and  request  him 
to  come  on  to  Pekin.  .  .  .  He  has  been  having  some  very 
troublesome  work  at  Shanghae  with  the  Rebels ;  indeed,  there 
is  at  present  work  enough  for  both  of  us  in  China. 

September  1st. — Kweiliang  arrived  last  night,  and  sent  me  a 
hint  that  he  intended  to  call  on  me  to-day.  I  sent  one  in  return, 
to  say  that  I  would  not  see  him  until  he  had  answered  my  letter. 
I  fear  a  little  more  bullying  will  be  necessary  before  we  bring 
this  stupid  Government  up  to  the  mark.  Both  yesterday  and 
to-day  I  took  a  ride  in  the  morning  with  Grant.  I  rode  a  horse 
of  his,  a  very  nice  one.  The  sun  becomes  powerful  very  early, 
but  it  is  a  charming  climate  now.  The  abundance  of  all  things 
wonderful :  beef  and  mutton  at  about  threepence  a  pound  ; 
peaches,  grapes,  and  all  sorts  of  vegetables  in  plenty  ;  ice  in 
profusion.  I  daresay,  however,  that  in  six  weeks'  time  it  may 
be  very  cold. 

At  one  moment,  on  the  2nd  of  September,  it  really 
seemed  as  if  the  object  of  the  mission  was  achieved;  for 
the  Imperial  Commissioners  —  one  of  whom  was  the 
same  Kweiliang  who  had  conducted  the  negotiations  in 
1858 — in  a  formal  despatch  gave  a  positive  assurance 
that  the  Treaty  of  Tientsin  should  be  faithfully  ob- 
served, and  that  all  the  demands  hitherto  made  should 
be  conceded  in  full.  A  draft  of  convention  was  accord- 
ingly prepared  on  this  basis ;  but,  when  it  came  to  the 
point,  Kweiliang  and  his  colleagues  declared  that  they 
had  no  authority  to  sign  it  without  referring  to  Pekin; 
and  it  became  obvious  that  he  either  did  not  possess, 
or  did  not  at  that  moment  wish  it  to  be  supposed  that 
he  possessed,  powers  equal  to  those  which  he  held  in 
1858,  although  his  previous  language  had  been  calcu- 
lated to  convey  the  opposite  impression. 

Here  was  clearly  a  deliberate  design  to  create  delay, 
with  the  view  of  dragging  on  negotiations  into  the 
winter.  It  was  indispensable,  Lord  Elgin  thought,  to 
check  this  policy  by  an  act  of  vigour  ;  and  accordingly, 


with  the  concurrence  of  Baron  Gros,  he  intimated  to 
Broken  off.  the  Imperial  Commissioners  that,  in  consequence  of  the 
want  of  good  faith  exhibited  by  them  in  assuming  the 
title  of  Plenipotentiaries  when  they  could  not  exercise 
the  authority  which  it  implied,  and  of  the  delays  which 
the  alleged  necessity  of  constant  reference  to  Pekin 
would  occasion,  he  had  determined  to  proceed  at  once 
to  Tung-chow,  in  the  immediate  neighbourhood  of  the 
capital,  and  to  enter  into  no  further  negotiations  with 
them  until  he  should  have  reached  that  place. 

September  8th. — I  am  at  war  again!  My  idiotical  Chinamen 
have  taken  to  playing  tricks,  which  give  me  an  excellent  excuse 
for  carrying  the  army  on  to  Pekin.  It  would  be  a  long  affair 
to  tell  you  all  the  ins  and  outs,  but  I  am  sure  from  what  has 
come  to  pass  during  the  last  few  days,  that  we  must  get  nearer 
Pekin  before  the  Government  there  comes  to  its  senses.  The 
blockheads  have  gone  on  negotiating  with  me  just  long  enough 
to  enable  Grant  to  bring  all  his  army  up  to  this  point.  Here 
we  are,  then,  with  our  base  established  in  the  heart  of  the 
country,  in  a  capital  climate,  with  abundance  around  us,  our 
army  in  excellent  health,  and  these  stupid  people  give  me  a 
snub,  which  obliges  me  to  break  with  them.  No  one  knows 
whether  our  progress  is  to  be  a  fight  or  an  ovation,  for  in  this 
country  nothing  can  be  foreseen.  I  think  it  belter  that  the 
olive-branch  should  advance  with  the  sword.  I  am  afraid  that 
this  change  in  the  programme — a  hostile  instead  of  a  peaceful 
inarch  on  Pekin — will  keep  me  longer  here,  because  I  cannot 
send  for  Frederick  till  peace  is  made ;  and  I  cannot,  I  suppose, 
leave  Pekin  till  he  arrives  there. 

Sunday,  September  9th. — Kweiliang  and  Co.  wanted  very 
much  to  call  on  me  yesterday,  but  I  would  not  receive  them. 
The  junior  Commissioner,  who  was  at  Canton  with  Parkes, 
and  knows  him  well,  told  him  that,  in  fact,  the  people  here  had 
been  urging  them  to  make  an  effort  to  prevent  war,  saying : 
*  If  we  were  sure  that  the  foreigners  would  have  the  best  of  it, 
'  we  should  not  care ;  but  if  they  are  worsted  they  will  fall 
'  back  on  us,  and  wreak  their  vengeance  upon  us.'  This  does 
not  seem  a  very  formidable  state  of  mind  as  far  as  we  are  con- 
cerned. We  have  behaved  well  to  the  people,  except  at  Pey- 


tang  and  Sinho,  and  the  consequence  is  that  we  can  move 
through  the  country  with  comparative  ease.  If  the  people 
tried  to  cut  off  our  baggage,  and  refused  us  supplies,  we  should 
find  it  very  difficult  to  get  on.  ...  Noon.— I  have  just 
returned  from  a  service  on  board  the  (  Granada,'  where  the 
clergyman  administered  the  sacrament  to  a  small  congregation. 
At  four  we  march  to  the  wars  ;  but  as  I  go  to  bear  the  olive,  it 
is  not  so  bad  a  Sunday's  work.  You  may  very  likely  hear 
through  Siberia  of  the  result  of  our  march  before  you  receive 
this  letter  announcing  that  it  is  to  take  place.  I  shall  not, 
therefore,  speculate  upon  it. 

Yang-tsun,  about  twenty  miles  above  Tientsin. — September  Yang- 
Wth. —  Two  P.M. — This  morning  we  started  at  about  five,  and 
reached  this  encampment  soon  after  seven.  A  very  nice  ride, 
cool,  and  through  a  succession  of  crops  of  millet ;  a  stiff,  reedy 
stem,  some  twelve  or  fourteen  feet  high,  with  a  tuft  on  the 
top,  is  the  physiognomy  of  the  millet  stalk.  It  would  puzzle 
the  Tartar  cavalry  to  charge  us  thro